Pediatric meningoencephaloceles and nasal obstruction: a case for endoscopic repair

Seth J Kanowitz, Joseph M Bernstein
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2006, 70 (12): 2087-92

OBJECTIVES: Congenital anterior skull base defects with meningoencephaloceles causing nasal obstruction are rare clinical entities. Nasal obstruction in children may also be a symptom of multiple benign nasal and allergic disorders, making the initial diagnosis of meningoencephalocele difficult. Traditionally, skull base defects have been repaired via a bifrontal craniotomy approach. With the advent of pediatric endoscopic instrumentation, more of these lesions are accessible via an intranasal endoscopic approach, even in the infant population. However, owing to the rarity of these lesions, there is a paucity of data demonstrating successful adaptation of endoscopic skull base techniques to the pediatric population.

METHODS: Retrospective review of two cases of endoscopic repair of anterior skull base defects with meningoencephaloceles at a tertiary care medical center.

RESULTS: Two children, ages 15 months and 6 years, underwent successful endoscopic closure of their anterior skull base defects and resection of their intranasal meningoencephalocele with resolution of their nasal obstruction and cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric nasal meningoencephaloceles with anterior skull base defects can be successfully repaired via a transnasal endoscopic technique, thus minimizing the complications associated with craniotomy and frontal lobe retraction. Triplanar computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging is paramount to evaluate the caliber of the skull base defect, consistency of the herniated intracranial contents, as well as the presence of cerebral vasculature.

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