The “Parachute” Technique for the Endoscopic Repair of High-Flow Anterior Skull-Base CSF Leaks

Giorgio Fiore, Giulio Andrea Bertani, Giorgio Giovanni Carrabba, Claudio Guastella, Giovanni Marfia, Leonardo Tariciotti, Giulia Letizia Gribaudi, Giovanna Mantovani, Andrea Di Cristofori, Marco Locatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aims to assess the feasibility and reliability of our endoscopic trans-nasal technique for the repair of cribriform and sellar high-flow cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. Methods: A comparison between patients suffering from high-flow rhinorrhea and treated through a free grafting endoscopic technique or the “parachute” technique, our nasal packing proposal, was performed. Results: Thirty-three patients were included. The mean age was 52 years (range: 36–68 years). The etiology of the CSF leaks was iatrogenic in 16 cases (48.5%), traumatic in 5 cases (15.2%), spontaneous in 11 cases (33.3%), and related to anterior skull base tumors in 1 case (3%). The bone defect affected the sphenoidal sinus in 20 cases (60.6%), the cribriform plate of the ethmoid in 10 cases (30.3%), and both the sphenoid and ethmoid in 3 cases (9.1%). The mean size of bone defects was 8.5 ± 3.9 mm. The median follow-up was 28 (64) months. A CSF leak recurrence occurred in no cases treated with the parachute technique and in 3 cases that underwent conventional endoscopic treatments. The CSF leak recurrences were associated with 2 iatrogenic and 1 post-traumatic fistula. All the CSF leak recurrences underwent the parachute technique, not showing second recurrences. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the parachute technique is simple, safe, and effective. We recommend it as an alternative treatment to vascular flaps for the treatment of high-flow and recurrent fistulas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e880-e887
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
  • Endoscopic endonasal approach
  • Endoscopic surgical repair
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Skull base defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The “Parachute” Technique for the Endoscopic Repair of High-Flow Anterior Skull-Base CSF Leaks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this