An Analysis of Patients Treated for Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea in the United States from 2002 to 2010

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The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database was used to analyze the demographic features and concomitant diagnoses in patients admitted with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea.


We analyzed the NIS database for all hospital admissions of CSF rhinorrhea between 2002 and 2010. Patient demographics, length of stay, hospital charges, concomitant diagnoses, hospital level characteristics, and complications were analyzed for patients undergoing surgical repair (group I) and for those treated without surgical repair (group II).


Patients in group I were significantly older, the majority were female (67.5%), and were more likely to be obese (12.9%), have diabetes mellitus (15.7%), and hypertension (41.6%). Lengths of stay were similar between the two groups, but group I patients incurred higher hospital charges (p < 0.001). Group I patients were more likely classified as an elective admission (59.8 vs. 38.6%), and were more frequently admitted to a teaching hospital (83.6%) with a large bed size (79.0%). Acute medical complications and concomitant diagnosis of meningitis were similar in both groups.


Rates of meningitis did not differ between the two groups. Patients who underwent surgical repair were more likely to be an elective admission and admitted to a teaching hospital. Hospital charges were higher in patients undergoing repair.

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