Osseous spicules of the posterior elements causing fast cerebrospinal fluid leaks

Ajay A. Madhavan, Darya P. Shlapak, John C. Benson, Carrie M. Carr, Jared T. Verdoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Dural tears are a common cause of spontaneous spinal CSF leaks. The majority of such leaks occur ventrally along the thecal sac, typically due to ventral osseous spicules that cause a rent in the dura. A minority of dural leaks are posterolateral in location. These leaks usually do not have an identifiable anatomic cause. We have anecdotally observed cases of posterolateral leaks caused by osseous spicules and sought to describe this phenomenon. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our imaging database, searching for cases of posterolateral CSF leaks caused by osseous spicules. We identified and included three such patients and reviewed imaging and clinical information from each patient. Results: All three patients had been diagnosed using hyperdynamic CT myelography or conventional CT myelography. Their imaging showed dorsal epidural fluid collections that were related to posterolateral leaks adjacent to dorsal osseous spicules. Conclusion: Dorsal osseous spicules have the potential to cause posterolateral CSF leaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1693
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • CSF leak
  • Dorsal spicule
  • Fast leak
  • Hyperdynamic CT myelography
  • Posterior elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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