Diagnosis and Management of Pediatric Nasal CSF Leaks and Encephaloceles


Purpose of review

To describe the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of pediatric nasal encephaloceles.

Recent findings

Encephaloceles and meningoencephaloceles are on the differential diagnosis for congenital midline nasal masses. These lesions are treated surgically to prevent craniofacial deformities and meningitis and to address symptoms such as a nasal obstruction, feeding difficulties, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea. With the advent of endoscopic skull base approaches and instruments, surgical treatment of nasal encephaloceles have transitioned from large bicoronal external approaches to more minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic approaches. Endoscopic surgical approaches are safe in pediatric patients.


Pediatric intranasal encephaloceles are more frequently managed endoscopically. However, due to the rarity of this condition, further multi-institutional research is needed to examine long-term outcomes for this surgical approach.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gopi Shah MD, MPH.

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Cynthia Wang declares that she has no conflict of interest. Clarice Brown declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ron Mitchell declares that he has no conflict of interest. Gopi Shah declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Wang, C.S., Brown, C., Mitchell, R.B. et al. Diagnosis and Management of Pediatric Nasal CSF Leaks and Encephaloceles. Curr Treat Options Allergy (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40521-020-00266-8

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  • Pediatric CSF leak
  • Encephalocele
  • Meningoencephalocele
  • Endoscopic encephalocele repair