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CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is a watery fluid that continually circulates through your brain’s hollow cavities (ventricles) and around the surface of your brain and spinal cord, transferring nutrients and cushioning these delicate structures. A CSF leak occurs when the cerebrospinal fluid leaks through a tear or hole in the dura, the outermost layer of membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
What You Need to Know
Spontaneous CSF leaks can occur due to increased intracranial pressure, as can happen with hydrocephalus, a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. Other times, leaks happen on their own, for reasons that aren’t clear.
- Symptoms may include headache, visual disturbances, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and nasal discharge.
Diagnosis and treatment of a CSF leak is important to prevent meningitis, an infection of the meninges.
Learn more about CSF leaks in our Health Library.
Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Treatment of a CSF Leak?
Our specialized multidisciplinary team is highly trained and dedicated to evaluating and treating CSF leaks and preventing complications.
Meet Our Physicians:
Once a CSF leak is diagnosed, prompt treatment with endonasal endoscopic surgery or other procedure can repair the tear in the membrane.