Subarachnoid - Pleural fistula treated with noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation: Case report

D. Yoshor, J. B. Gentry, S. A. LeMaire, J. Dickerson, J. Saul, A. B. Valadka, C. S. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The authors describe the case of a 24-year-old man who underwent an L-1 corpectomy for spinal decompression and stabilization following an injury that caused an L-1 burst fracture. Postoperatively, an accumulation of spinal fluid developed in the pleural space, which was refractory to 1 week of thoracostomy tube drainage and lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion. The authors then initiated a regimen of positive-pressure ventilation in which a bilevel positive airway pressure (PAP) mask was used. After 5 days, the CSF collection in the pleural space resolved. Use of a bilevel PAP mask represents a safe, noninvasive method of reducing the negative intrathoracic pressure that promotes CSF leakage into the pleural cavity and may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of subarachnoid-pleural fistula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrospinal fluid fistula
  • Positive-pressure ventilation
  • Spinal decompression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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