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J Neurotrauma. 2012 Apr 10;29(6):1090-5. doi: 10.1089/neu.2011.2176. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy: the effect of timing on postoperative complications.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. patrick.schuss@med.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

Decompressive craniectomy (DC) due to intractably elevated intracranial pressure mandates later cranioplasty (CP). However, the optimal timing of CP remains controversial. We therefore analyzed our prospectively conducted database concerning the timing of CP and associated post-operative complications. From October 1999 to August 2011, 280 cranioplasty procedures were performed at the authors' institution. Patients were stratified into two groups according to the time from DC to cranioplasty (early, ≤2 months, and late, >2 months). Patient characteristics, timing of CP, and CP-related complications were analyzed. Overall CP was performed early in 19% and late in 81%. The overall complication rate was 16.4%. Complications after CP included epidural or subdural hematoma (6%), wound healing disturbance (5.7%), abscess (1.4%), hygroma (1.1%), cerebrospinal fluid fistula (1.1%), and other (1.1%). Patients who underwent early CP suffered significantly more often from complications compared to patients who underwent late CP (25.9% versus 14.2%; p=0.04). Patients with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt had a significantly higher rate of complications after CP compared to patients without VP shunt (p=0.007). On multivariate analysis, early CP, the presence of a VP shunt, and intracerebral hemorrhage as underlying pathology for DC, were significant predictors of post-operative complications after CP. We provide detailed data on surgical timing and complications for cranioplasty after DC. The present data suggest that patients who undergo late CP might benefit from a lower complication rate. This might influence future surgical decision making regarding optimal timing of cranioplasty.

PMID:
22201297
DOI:
10.1089/neu.2011.2176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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