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Multiple spontaneous skull base cerebrospinal fluid leaks: some insights from an international retrospective collaborative study

  • Rhinology
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A Correction to this article was published on 14 August 2020

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Spontaneous skull base cerebrospinal fluid leaks occurring without any apparent cause are rare. But those patients that present such leaks simultaneously, or successively, in multiple locations are even rarer. Given the rarity of this condition, we collected data from other groups in a multicentre study to reach an adequate number of patients and draw some preliminary considerations.


We carried out a multicentre retrospective study on a cohort of patients treated at third level hospitals in Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Greece for multiple spontaneous-CSF leaks and we compared them with a control group of patients treated for recurrent spontaneous-CSF leaks. Data regarding clinical aspects, radiological findings, surgical techniques and outcome were collected and preliminary considerations on the results were discussed.


A total of 25 patients presented multiple simultaneous spontaneous CSF leaks while 18 patients fit with the criteria of recurrent spontaneous CSF leaks. Data analysis was conducted separately.


Our understanding of the pathogenesis of this condition is currently very limited. A causative role of IIH may be present but the differences that emerged from the comparison with patients with recurrent fistulas seem to promote the possible role of other cofactors. A longer follow-up period is needed, and, in our opinion, prospective and multicentre studies are the only solution to seriously deal with such a complex topic.

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Change history

  • 14 August 2020

    In the original publication of the article, the following affiliation “Medical school, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus” of the author “Christos Georgalas” was missed and included in this correction.


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Each author has made substantial contributions to the work in terms of acquisition of data and have approved the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Christina Cambi.

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Dallan, I., Cambi, C., Emanuelli, E. et al. Multiple spontaneous skull base cerebrospinal fluid leaks: some insights from an international retrospective collaborative study. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 277, 3357–3363 (2020).

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