Cerebrospinal fluid leak (CSF)
Cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, refers to the clear fluid that lines and protects the brain and spinal cord. This fluid serves many purposes, including cushioning the brain and spinal cord, providing nutrients, and removing toxins. Any tear of the dura, the tissue which lines the brain and spinal cord, can cause a leak of CSF. This can occur following procedures such as lumbar punctures and spinal anesthesia, trauma, surgery, or can occur spontaneously, especially in the setting of connective tissue diseases such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. CSF leaks cause a decrease in intracranial pressure, which can result in unrelenting, debilitating headaches.