Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leaks: A Prospective Cohort Study

Cyrus C. Rabbani, Mohamad Z. Saltagi, Shalini K. Manchanda, Charles W. Yates, Rick F. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in a prospective cohort of patients with spontaneous CSF (sCSF) leaks of the temporal bone. Study Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Consecutive sCSF leak patients (21) over a 3-year period. Four patients presented with a history of OSA and 17 patients were prospectively offered polysomnogram (PSG) testing during the initial clinic encounter. Intervention: Level I PSG. Main Outcome Measures: Patient characteristics (age, sex, body mass index), apnea hypopnea index (AHI), presence of snoring, and presence of hypoxia (oxygen saturation <88% for >5 min). OSA was defined as mild (AHI ≥5 and <15/h), moderate (AHI ≥15 and <30/h), and severe (AHI ≥30/h). Results: The prevalence of OSA in sCSF leak patients is 83.3%. PSG studies were performed on 18 of the 21 patients. There were 15 women and 6 men with an average age (standard deviation) of 56.3 (11.2) years and an average body mass index of 35.3 (7.7) kg/m 2. Objectively, the AHI ranged from mild to severe (range = 5.7-92, median = 19.8). Snoring was present in 61% of patients and hypoxia was present in 39% of patients. sCSF leak patients with OSA were significantly older than sCSF leak patients without OSA (56.7 [8.3] versus 42.7 [14.5] yr, p = 0.03). Conclusions: OSA is highly prevalent among patients with sCSF leaks. All patients with sCSF leaks should undergo formal PSG testing. Future studies are needed to determine the role of OSA in the development of sCSF leaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e475-e480
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Continuous positive airway pressure
  • Lateral skull base
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective
  • Snoring
  • Spontaneous
  • Temporal bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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