Endoscopic Endonasal Eustachian Tube Obliteration for Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea: A Case Series and Scoping Review

Ryan Rimmer, Gabriela Lilly, Sachin Gupta, Jeremy Ciporen, Kara Detwiller, Justin Cetas, Aclan Dogan, Mathew Geltzeiler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Endoscopic endonasal eustachian tube obliteration (EEETO) is a valuable option for treating cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea (CSFR) after lateral skull base surgery. Several small case series describe different techniques because of the rarity of this indication. OBJECTIVE: To review available literature on EEETO focusing on technique and factors affecting success. We also contribute a new case series using a knotless barbed suture technique. METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review of EEETO using barbed suture for CSFR at our institution from 2018 to 2021. Scoping review was performed by searching PubMed for articles on EEETO for CSFR. Patients were pooled for data syntheses. RESULTS: Our retrospective series contained 7 patients. Two patients (28.6%) required revision, but all were ultimately successful. Six studies were identified in scoping review for a combined total of 23 patients. Most of the patients initially underwent translabyrinthine (52.2%) resection of vestibular schwannoma (82.6%). Average time to initial CSFR was 362.6 days (standard deviation ± 1034.2, range 0-4320 days). Twenty-two patients underwent lumbar drain, and 11 underwent prior surgical attempts before EEETO. The initial success rate of EEETO was 65.2%. In 8 patients needing revision, EEETO was ultimately successful in 6. There were no differences in demographics or presentation between successful and revision cases. Seven different techniques were described. CONCLUSION: EEETO can treat CSFR after lateral skull base surgery. Revision surgery is common and difficult to predict. Several techniques have been described, and utilization of barbed suture is a viable method with comparable success, but without the need for endoscopic knot tying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalOperative neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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