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Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
over 10 years ago
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Spheno-ethmoidal Meningocele

Case Detail

Anatomy: Brain-Spine
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Developmental or Congenital
Created: over 9 years ago
Updated: over 8 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: MR
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4 month old with rhinorrhea.

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Spheno-ethmoidal Meningocele


Meningoencephaloceles usually protrude from the skull along a suture line or at the junction of several bones. Meninges, cerebrospinal fluid, ependyma, choroid plexus, and/or glial tissue may be present in the defects. Meningoencephaloceles of the skull base are generally classified into five major anatomic types: frontoethmoidal, sphenoorbital, sphenomaxillary, temporal, and nasopharyngeal. Nasopharyngeal encephaloceles are further subdivided into the transethmoid, sphenoethmoid, sphenonasopharyngeal, and basioccipital-nasopharyngeal. There is no known cause for meningoencephaloceles. Basal meningoencephaloceles are the rarest form, occurring with an approximate frequency of 1 in 35 000 births. Basal
encephaloceles are commonly occult and therefore might not be diagnosed until adulthood. Encephaloceles occasionally are associated with malformation syndromes, cleft palate, craniostenosis, agenesis of the corpus callosum, and branistem anomalies. Prognosis is best if the defects are small and do not contain neural tissue. The major complications are CSF leak and infection.


Larsen CE, Hudgins PA, Hunter SB. Skull-Base Meningoencephalocele Presenting as a Unilateral Neck Mass in a Neonate. AJNR (1995); 16:1161–1163.

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