To report cerebrospinal fluid leak as an uncommon but noteworthy delayed complication after endoscopic orbital surgeries and to describe its incidence, mechanism, prevention, diagnosis, and management.
Case series of 3 patients who underwent endoscopic orbital surgery in the Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital affiliated to Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine from January 2003 to December 2020. A review of the literature was also conducted.
Three cases of delayed cerebrospinal fluid leaks occurred 10 years, 3 months, and 4 months after endoscopic orbital surgeries, respectively, were reviewed and reported. Two patients developed cerebrospinal fluid leaks after surgical repair of orbital blowout fractures with titanium mesh and porous polyethylene (Medpor), respectively, and 1 patient developed cerebrospinal fluid leak after transantral optic canal decompression. In the first case, head computed tomography (CT) cisternography and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the site of the leak that required surgical repair. In the second case, a coronal CT showed that the implanted titanium mesh was tightly against the cribriform plate, which might cause defect of skull base and dura. In the third case, orbital CT identified a dehiscence on the sphenoidal wall as the leak site, which was repaired in a secondary endoscopic surgery.
A cerebrospinal fluid leak, as an uncommon but noteworthy complication, can occur as delayed as 10 more years after surgery. For patients with specific anatomic characteristics, such as Kero type III, surgeons should perform meticulous preoperative evaluation and intraoperative procedures to prevent this complication.