Traumatic subarachnoid-pleural fistula

W. H. Brown, J. C. Stothert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Traumatic subarachnoid-pleural fistulas are rare. We found 9 cases reported since 1959. Seven have been secondary to trauma and 2 following thoracotomy. One patient's death is thought to be directly related to the fistula. The diagnosis should be suspected in patients with a pleural effusion and associated vertebral trauma. The diagnosis can usually be confirmed with contrast or radioisotopic myelography. Successful closure of the fistula will usually occur spontaneously with closed tube drainage and antibiotics; occasionally, thoracotomy is necessary to close the rent in the dura.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1107
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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