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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1828461, 3 pages
Case Report

A Rare Case of Spontaneous Pneumocephalus Associated with Nontraumatic Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak

Department of Internal Medicine, Jersey City Medical Center, 355 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302, USA

Received 13 November 2015; Accepted 14 April 2016

Academic Editor: Abbass Amirjamshidi

Copyright © 2016 Murad Baba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Spontaneous nontraumatic pneumocephalus (PNC) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks are both very uncommon conditions. We report a rare case of spontaneous pneumocephalus associated with CSF leak secondary to right sphenoid sinus bony defect without history of trauma. Case Description. 51-year-old Hispanic female with past medical history of hypertension and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (Pseudotumor Cerebri) presented to the emergency room complaining of headache and clear discharge from the right nostril. Physical examination was significant for right frontal sinus tenderness and clear discharge from right nostril. Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the brain showed moderate amount of extra-axial air within the right cerebral hemisphere indicative of pneumocephalus. CT scan of facial bones showed bony defect along the right sphenoid sinus with abnormal CSF collection. The patient was started on intravenous antibiotics for meningitis prophylaxis and subsequently underwent transsphenoidal repair of cerebrospinal fluid leak with abdominal fat graft. CSF rhinorrhea stopped completely after the surgery with near complete resolution of pneumocephalus before discharge. Conclusions. Early identification of pneumocephalus and surgical intervention can help decrease the morbidity and avoid possible complications. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, although rare, can lead to CSF leak and pneumocepahlus.