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|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 434-436
A novel minimally invasive endoscopic repair in a case of spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea with persistent craniopharyngeal canal
Satyawati Mohindra1, Karan Gupta1, Sandeep Mohindra2
1 Department of Otolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
|Date of Web Publication||5-Jun-2015|
Department of Otolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh Chandigarh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Mohindra S, Gupta K, Mohindra S. A novel minimally invasive endoscopic repair in a case of spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea with persistent craniopharyngeal canal. Neurol India 2015;63:434-6
|How to cite this URL:|
Mohindra S, Gupta K, Mohindra S. A novel minimally invasive endoscopic repair in a case of spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea with persistent craniopharyngeal canal. Neurol India [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 22];63:434-6. Available from: http://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2015/63/3/434/158243
Persistent hypophyseal (craniopharyngeal) canal is a rare congenital skull base defect. It extends from the floor of the sella turcica to the nasopharynx and is less than 1.5 mm in diameter. The term craniopharyngeal canal is also used to describe a rarer and much larger bony canal in the same location, which has been referred to as the large craniopharyngeal canal or trans-sphenoidal canal by Currarino et al.  Some authors relate its origin to the route of ascent of the Rathke's pouch to the sella turcica;,,, whereas, others propose that it is a vestige of a former vascular channel that develops during the ossification of the sphenoid bone. ,
A 16-year-old male patient presented with a history of intermittent watery nasal discharge, spontaneous in onset, not associated with headache and anosmia, with no history of trauma. An endoscopic examination with 0˚ rigid nasal endoscope showed a 10 mm × 10 mm opening present in the roof of the nasopharynx in the midline with frank leak of watery fluid seen from the opening. An analysis of the fluid collected from the nasal cavity was positive for β-transferrin, confirming the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
The patient underwent a high-definition three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) of the skull base with CT cisternography, which revealed CSF leak from a persistent craniopharyngeal canal. On CT, a bony canal measuring 18 mm in diameter with smooth margins extending from the floor of the sella turcica to the nasopharynx was seen [Figure 1]a-d. No other bony anomaly was noted.
|Figure 1: (a) Computed tomographic cisternography axial cut bony window showing the bony canal (18 mm) running through the sphenoid; (b) The coronal image, bone window showing the bony canal (18 mm) connecting the sella with the nasopharynx; (c) The sagittal image showing the bony canal between the sella turcica and the nasopharynx; (d) T1 - weighted sagittal magnetic resonance imaging image showing the normally placed pituitary gland in the sella turcica; (e) The 0˚endoscopic view of the opening of the bony canal on the floor of the sphenoid sinus; and, (f) 0˚endoscopic view of the defect reconstructed with muscle, fat and fascia lata harvested from the thigh|
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Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the findings and ruled out the absence or abnormal position of the pituitary gland.
The patient was taken up for endoscopic repair and reinforcement of the floor of the sphenoid was performed after resecting the attachment of the craniopharyngeal canal from the inter-sphenoid sinus floor. The defect was reconstructed using muscle, fat and fascia harvested from the thigh [Figure 1]e and f. The patient was doing well after 10 months of follow-up [Figure 2].
|Figure 2: Post - operative T2 - weighted sagittal magnetic resonance imaging image showing the surgical repair of the craniopharyngeal canal with obliteration of lower end of the canal|
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The term "craniopharyngeal canal" or "persistent hypophyseal canal" is generally used to describe a small and vertical midline defect in the skull base that measures <1.5 mm in diameter. Persistent craniopharyngeal canal is a rare entity first described by Landzert et al. in 1868  that has been reported in 5-10% of live births  and up to 0.42% of the asymptomatic population.
During the embryological development of the sphenoid bone, the channel is described as being located at the junction of the basi-pre-sphenoid and the basi-post-sphenoid. ,, It closes at the end of the 10 th week of embryological development. 
The most frequent symptoms are related to pituitary malfunction due to compression of the gland , or to unintended hypophysectomy after adenoidectomy (that was being carried out to alleviate the respiratory distress). 
The literature describes the treatment of this malformation in the same context as the management of trans-sphenoidal encephaloceles. Most of the authors agree for the need of surgical repair in the cases showing rhinorrhea, recurrent meningitis or respiratory distress due to the presence of a pharyngeal mass. ,, Historically, the surgical approach included two different options, trans-cranial and trans-oral-trans-palatal routes. The trans-cranial route allows a good repositioning of the herniated tissue and the closure of the bony defect with a periosteal flap with or without frontal bone fragment.  It has been associated with morbidity in up to 70% and mortality up to 50% of patients, ,, mainly due to unintended hypophysectomy during herniated tissue resection, or due to CSF leakage. The trans-oral-trans-palatal approach, a minimally invasive procedure, allows the closure of the defect and the repair of the mucosal plane. But, it requires some kind of relaxation of the dural sac by fenestration or by CSF diversion. , The main risks associated with this approach are infection, CSF leakage and the lack of identification of the herniated tissue. ,,
We report a novel minimally invasive endoscopic surgical technique of reconstruction and obliteration of the craniopharyngeal canal. The canal attachment is first resected from the inter-sphenoid floor and separated from the sphenoidal walls, and the defect obliterated by a triple-layer reconstruction consisting of muscle, fat and fascia.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]