Unrecognized cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage from a dural tear created during mastoidectomy rarely occurs, but when it does the consequences may be catastrophic. The potential complications discussed in this article are CSF otorrhea, meningitis, pneumocephalus, and hydrocephalus. The pathophysiology and diagnosis of these complications are individually discussed. The medical management and surgical procedures required to treat such complications are reviewed using a case presentation as an illustration. In addition, a flow sheet detailing the interrelationship between these potential complications and their treatment is outlined.
© 1984, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.