CerebroSpinal Fluid Fistulas

When the membranes enclosing the brain or spinal cord develop a rip or hole, the clear fluid that envelopes and cushions those organs might escape, causing a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak.


Some CSF leaks happen on their own for no apparent reason, while others are brought on by external forces such a head injury, spinal or brain surgery, epidural, lumbar puncture (spinal tap), or a tumour in the skull base.

Those who have high-pressure hydrocephalus, a condition characterized by an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid, may also be at a higher risk of having leaks.


  • Positional headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck stiffness or discomfort
  • Hearing changes (muffled, ringing in the ears)
  • Feeling of imbalance
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Phonophobia (sensitivity to sound)
  • Aching in the shoulder area


  • CT
  • MRI
  • Myelography.
  • Cisternography.
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)


  • Conservative treatment
  • A lumbar drain
  • A blood patch
  • Surgery