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MRI cisternography with gadolinium-containing contrast medium: its role, advantages and limitations in the investigation of rhinorrhoea.

Neuroradiology 2004 January
Our purpose was to evaluate the utility of intrathecal gadopentetate dimeglumine -enhanced magnetic resonance cisternography (GdMRC). We injected 0.5 ml contrast medium into the subarachnoid space via lumbar puncture in 20 patients with suspected cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhoea. MRC showed CSF leakage in 14 patients with rhinorrhoea at the time of the examination, into the ethmoid air cells in nine, the sphenoid sinus in three and the frontal sinus in two cases. In 12 of these the site leakage was confirmed during surgical repair of the fistula. No leakage was observed in four patients with intermittent rhinorrhoea, not present at the time of the examination. GdMRC showed leakage in two patients with negative CT cisternography. GdMRC may prove better than CT cisternography, especially with slow CSF flow. We also showed low-dose GdMRC to be a feasible and relative safe way of confirming the presence of and localising active CSF leaks prior to surgical repair.

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