Minim Invasive Neurosurg 2004; 47(4): 209-213
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-818522
Original Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Endoscopic Treatment of Encephaloceles of the Lateral Wall of the Sphenoid Sinus

E.  Pasquini1 , V.  Sciarretta1 , G.  Farneti2 , D.  Mazzatenta3 , G.  C.  Modugno1 , G.  Frank3
  • 1ENT Department, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 2ENT Unit, AUSL-Bologna Nord, Budrio, Bologna, Italy
  • 3Neurosurgical Department of “Bellaria” Hospital, Bologna, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 September 2004 (online)


Objective: The suitability of the endoscopic approach for the treatment of an encephalocele of the lateral wall of the sphenoid is discussed. This is a retrospective review of 4 cases diagnosed with temporosphenoidal encephalocele and having a history of CSF leak who were surgically treated using an endoscopic endonasal approach between January 2001 and June 2002 at the Department of Otolaryngology of Sant'Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital and the Department of Neurosurgery at Bellaria Hospital in Bologna.

Methods: Three patients were female between 48 and 73 years of age (mean: 61 years). All patients had suffered from a CSF leak for 5 months to 18 years. None of the patients had a past medical history of head trauma. A fourth patient had undergone a previous microscopic approach for a previously misdiagnosed CSF leak wrongly ascribed to an empty sella. Three patients underwent an ethmoid-pterygo-sphenoidal endoscopic approach (EPSEA), while the patient who had undergone previous microscopic surgery, was treated using a transnasal transsphenoidal endoscopic approach.

Results: The follow-up of the patients ranged from 10 to 26 months (mean: 18 months) and no case of a recurrent CSF leak was observed postoperatively.

Conclusions: In our report, the endoscopic approach was a useful tool for the treatment of encephaloceles of the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus. In skilled hands, this technique permits both the resection of the encephalocele and the subsequent reconstruction of the defect also with a low rate of morbidity.


Ernesto Pasquini,, M. D. 

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