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A rare case of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak occurred after a healthcare worker inadvertently swabbed a previously unidentified encephalocele during nasopharyngeal testing for COVID-19.
“This case of iatrogenic CSF leak from nasal swab testing for COVID-19 illustrates that prior surgical intervention, or pathology that distorts normal nasal anatomy, may increase the risk of adverse events associated with nasal testing for respiratory pathogens, including COVID-19,” write Christopher Blake Sullivan, MD, from the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, and colleagues.
“One should consider alternative methods to nasal screening in patients with known prior skull base defects, history of sinus or skull base surgery, or predisposing conditions to skull base erosion,” the authors continue.
The findings were published online today in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.