Spontaneous Temporal Lobe Encephalocele Within the Sphenoid Sinus

Mohammed Dhaha1, Abdelhafidh Sliman2, Nadhir Karmeni2, Sawsen Dhambri, Jalel Kallel2

1 Institut Salah-Azaiz, Tunis, Tunisia.

2 National Institute of Neurology, Tunis, Tunisia.

Correspondence to: Dr. Mohammed Dhaha, Email: dhaha.mohamed87@gmail.com

Received: 18 November 2019; Revised: 22 March 2020; Accepted: 08 May 2020; Available online: 21 June 2020



Encephaloceles are herniation of cranial content arising from a skull defect. Encephaloceles of the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus (ELWSS) are uncommon events. In most cases, these cranial hernias are secondary to trauma and craniofacial surgery. Spontaneous forms are even rarer and not well understood. The most adopted hypothesis is a persisting Sternberg’s canal, an embryonic remnant connecting the middle cranial fossa and the nasopharynx. ELWSS are usually revealed by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Diagnosis of this disease necessitates quick management due to the potential of lethal complications such as meningitis. We report the case of a spontaneous ELWSS in a 53- year-old woman revealed by CSF leak which was successfully managed with a conventional transcranial approach. We focus on the clinical aspect and pathogenesis of the disease, and discuss the main possible surgical approaches.


Keywords: Spontaneous encephalocele, Sphenoid sinus, CSF leak, Transcranial approach

Ann Afr Surg. 2021; 18(1):63–66

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/aas.v18i1.12

Conflicts of Interest: None

Funding: None

© 2021 Author. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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