BACKGROUND: Autologous tissue grafting and postoperative lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage (PLD) have been used to prevent CSF rhinorrhea after transsphenoidal surgery.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the technical details and efficacy of our techniques of using collagen fleece coated with fibrin sealant (TachoComb, Nycomed, Linz, Austria) instead of an autologous tissue graft and refraining from the use of PLD.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 307 consecutive patients who underwent a transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma from November 2005 to February 2008. Among them, 90 cases of intraoperative CSF leaks were repaired with TachoComb without an autologous tissue graft or PLD. The repair procedures were tailored according to CSF leakage type, and we used only Bioglue (Cryolife Inc, Atlanta, Georgia) for sellar floor reconstruction.
RESULTS: The overall rate of CSF rhinorrhea was 2.2% (2 of 90 cases). The 2 cases of CSF rhinorrhea resulted from large arachnoid defects, and there were no adverse effects from TachoComb such as transmission of viral disease or infection.
CONCLUSION: Our technique is an alternative method to the traditional autologous tissue graft technique. PLD is not an essential procedure for the prevention of CSF rhinorrhea if the intraoperative CSF leak is completely sealed off during the transsphenoidal surgery. However, in cases of large arachnoid defects, aggressive repair of the arachnoid defect and sellar floor reconstruction with bone or bony substitutes should be considered in conjunction with our methods.