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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 271-272

Subaponeurotic cerebrospinal fluid collection in an infant

Department of Neurosurgery, St. Stephen's Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2017

Correspondence Address:
Satyashiva Munjal
Department of Neurosurgery, St. Stephen's Hospital, Tis Hazari, New Delhi - 110 054
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpn.JPN_19_17

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Subaponeurotic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection is a rare condition. We report a 13-week-old male infant who presented with a swelling in the occipitoparietal region of 4 h duration. Swelling was soft, fluctuant, and contained CSF. It was tapped twice on the 4th and 8th day of appearance and resolved completely by 7 weeks. The condition is benign, and a conservative approach is recommended.

Keywords: Computed tomography, subaponeurotic fluid collection, vacuum extraction, wormian bones

How to cite this article:
Munjal S, Kumar S. Subaponeurotic cerebrospinal fluid collection in an infant. J Pediatr Neurosci 2017;12:271-2

How to cite this URL:
Munjal S, Kumar S. Subaponeurotic cerebrospinal fluid collection in an infant. J Pediatr Neurosci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jan 30];12:271-2. Available from: https://www.pediatricneurosciences.com/text.asp?2017/12/3/271/218231

   Introduction Top

Subaponeurotic or subgaleal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection is a rare cause of swelling in young infants. It presents as a soft, ill-defined, fluctuant swelling and is not limited by suture lines. Usually, the swelling subsides without any intervention. Recently, we came across such a case, and because of its rarity and chance association with wormian bones, it is being reported.

   Case Report Top

A male infant aged 13 weeks presented with a swelling in the occipitoparietal region of 4 h duration. He was delivered by emergency cesarean section after failed ventouse attempt. No swelling was noted in the scalp in the immediate neonatal period.

At presentation, there was a soft diffuse, nontender, fluctuant, transilluminant swelling with fluid thrill in the occipitoparietal region.

Ultrasonography revealed anechoic fluid of 5.9 mm thickness [Figure 1]a. Plain X-Ray skull revealed a soft tissue shadow without any evidence of fracture. Computed tomography revealed it to be H value 11 [Figure 1]b. Brain parenchyma was normal. Volume rendering showed multiple bilateral wormian bones in the lambdoid suture [Figure 1]c. Fluid was aspirated on the 4th and 8th day of its appearance. It was blood stained, and biochemical examination showed sugar value 105 mg% and protein 64.2 mg%. Swelling reappeared in the upper part and resolved within 7 weeks from the time of its onset. The child is healthy and doing well on follow-up for the last 36 months.
Figure 1: (a) Ultrasound of the cranium showing fluid collection outside the cranium (dotted line). (b) Noncontrast computed tomogram, axial view, showing extracranial fluid collection with hounsfield unit value 11. (c) Volume-rendering computed tomogram showing multiple wormian bones on both sides in the lambdoid suture

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   Discussion Top

Subaponeurotic fluid collections have been reported infrequently. These collections are obvious clinically and are often noticed a few weeks after delivery and resolve spontaneously. A few cases have been reported in which the swelling had been tapped on one or two occasions when it recurred and later resolved spontaneously within 5-24 weeks.[1],[2]

Usually, these children are healthy, alert, and without any abnormalities of the skull; however, in our case, there were associated wormian bones. There was no evidence of these bones being responsible for CSF collections as none of the bone ossicles were directed inward to injure the dura. Usually, wormian bones are small and less numerous unless associated with skeletal dysplasia.[3]

The swellings are cystic, soft, compressible, fluctuant, and usually cross the suture lines.

The etiology of this condition is not well understood; however, it may occur due to birth trauma resulting from prolonged vacuum-assisted delivery; disruption of the lymphatic drainage, venous drainage, and CSF leakage may be contributory.[4] Schoberer et al. proposed microfractures disrupting the emissary and diploic veins.[4] Aspirates from the swellings revealed CSF, the origin of which was uncertain. This condition is more common in children monitored with fetal scalp electrodes and ventouse delivery.[2],[5] In our case, ventouse application may have been responsible. In our patient, the CSF swelling was not noticed immediately after birth and it was diagnosed a few weeks after the birth, which has been the experience of others as well.

CSF collection does not cause periosteal ridging as seen with cephalhematoma. Aspiration of the swelling is not indicated as there is a potential risk of infection.

Hopkins et al. treated 1 of 7 patients with aspiration twice, later it resolved spontaneously.[1] Petraglia et al. could collect 12 cases from literature, and all of them were from Europe and presented three of his own.[2] Schoberer et al. reported a series of 5 cases presenting 7–8 weeks after birth. Four of these cases had ventouse delivery.[4] Fluid was aspirated in three cases (twice in one case) and fluid reaccumulated after aspiration in all three occasions. The aspirate showed high concentrations of B trace protein and B2 transferrin was present in the range of within CSF indicating that these fluid collections appeared to be related to traumatic labor because of serosanguinous nature. In our case, the fluid was slightly blood stained and biochemically confirmed it to be CSF.

   Conclusion Top

Subaponeurotic CSF collection is a benign self-limiting condition which is usually seen in neonates delivered using vacuum device.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Hopkins RE, Inward C, Chambers T, Grier D. Sub-aponeurotic fluid collections in infancy. Clin Radiol 2002;57:114-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Petraglia AL, Moravan MJ, Marky AH, Silberstein HJ. Delayed sub-aponeurotic fluid collections in infancy: Three cases and a review of the literature. Surg Neurol Int 2010;1. pii: 34.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kaplan SB, Kemp SS, Oh KS. Radiographic manifestations of congenital anomalies of the skull. Radiol Clin North Am 1991;29:195-218.  Back to cited text no. 3
Schoberer A, Yagmur E, Boltshauser E, Korinth M, Niggemann P, Häusler M. Sub-aponeurotic fluid collections: A delayed-onset self-limiting cerebrospinal fluid fistula in young infants. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2008;12:401-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sorokin Y, Weintraub Z, Rothschild A, Abramovici H, Iancu TC. Cerebrospinal fluid leak in the neonate – Complication of fetal scalp electrode monitoring. Case report and review of the literature. Isr J Med Sci 1990;26:633-5.  Back to cited text no. 5


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