Endoscopic Repair of Anterior Skull Base Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks is Successful in Frail Patients

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The Laryngoscope


OBJECTIVE: Surgical frailty estimates a patient's ability to withstand the physiologic stress of an intervention. There is limited data regarding the impact of frailty on endoscopic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak repair.

METHODS: Patients undergoing CSF leak repair at two tertiary academic skull base programs were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic, treatment, and postoperative outcomes data were recorded. Frailty was calculated using validated indices, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), and the Modified 5-Item Frailty Index (mFI-5). Outcomes included 30-day medical and surgical complications and readmission.

RESULTS: A total of 185 patients were included with 128 (69.2%) female patients and average age of 54 ± 14 years. The average body mass index was 34.6 ± 8.5. The most common identified etiology was idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) in 64 patients (34.6%). A total of 125 patients (68%) underwent perioperative lumbar drain placement (primarily to measure intracranial pressures and diagnose IIH). Most patients were ASA class 3 (48.6%) with mean CCI 2.14 ± 2.23 and mFI-5 0.97 ± 0.90. Three patients had postoperative CSF leaks, with an overall repair success rate of 98.4%. There was no association between increased frailty and 30-day medical outcomes, surgical outcomes, or readmission (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic CSF leak repair in a frail population, including lumbar drain placement and bed rest, was not associated with an increased rate of complications. Previous data suggests increased complications in open craniotomy procedures in patients with significant comorbidities. This study suggests that the endoscopic approach to CSF leak repair is well tolerated in the frail population.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV Laryngoscope, 134:2713-2717, 2024.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Female; Male; Middle Aged; Retrospective Studies; Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak; Skull Base; Frailty; Endoscopy; Treatment Outcome; Postoperative Complications; Aged; Adult

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ePub ahead of print





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