Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leaks We Treat

CSF leaks occur when cerebrospinal fluid seeps out of the tissue surrounding your brain and spinal cord (dura). CSF leaks are often spontaneous, meaning they happen without obvious trauma.

Renowned CSF leak experts at Cedars-Sinai use a system to classify different types of CSF leaks. This system allows you to get the right care for your needs.

We also developed treatment guidelines for specific diagnoses, such as CSF venous fistula. We were the first program in the world to describe and diagnose this condition. Our efforts enable doctors all over the world to deliver timely, effective care.

Types of CSF Leaks We Treat

We treat a broad range of CSF leaks, including:

CSF Leak from a Spinal Arachnoid Cyst

Arachnoid cysts are congenital or present at birth. Cedars-Sinai is among the few programs in the nation capable of caring for children with CSF leaks due to an arachnoid cyst. We have treated children as young as 2 years old. Although these are congenital, spinal cysts usually do not cause CSF leak symptoms until middle age. Get more information about brain cysts.

Dural Puncture from a Sharp Bone

In some cases, a small bony spur in the spine punctures the dura, causing a CSF leak. A CSF leak from a dural puncture requires surgery to remove the bony spur and repair the hole in the dura.

CSF Venous Fistula

This condition happens when cerebrospinal fluid is being sucked out by a vein.

A CSF venous fistula is difficult to diagnose on standard imaging studies. Our experts developed techniques that enable doctors all over the world to spot the signs of a CSF venous fistula. Our discoveries help more people receive prompt care.

Have Questions or Need a Second Opinion?

Call us or send a message to the team. You can also have us call you back at your convenience.

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Pacific Time (U.S.)
Available 24 hours a day