Non-watertight dural reconstruction in meningioma surgery: results in 439 consecutive patients and a review of the literature

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There are various schools of thought when it comes to dural reconstruction following meningioma surgery, which are largely based on the personal experience of the individual surgeons. The authors' aim in this study was to review different dural reconstruction techniques, with an emphasis on their experience with the synthetic onlay dural graft technique.


The medical records of 439 consecutive patients who were surgically treated for an intracranial meningioma over a period of 7 years, and for whom dural reconstruction was performed using the onlay dural graft DuraGen (Integra Neurosciences) were reviewed retrospectively. The most common tumor location was the convexity (27.6%), and 12% of the patients had undergone previous surgery. Complications related to the closure technique and/or closure material, such as CSF leakage from the incision, rhinorrhea, or infectious or chemical meningitis were reviewed.


A CSF leak was encountered in 2 patients (0.4%), and 10 patients (2.3%) experienced graft-related complications in the form of chemical meningitis, cerebritis, and accumulation of extraaxial fluid. Infectious complications were seen in 4 patients (0.9%; bacterial meningitis, osteomyelitis, epidural abscess). None of the patients had pseudomeningocele that required a second intervention.


In the authors' experience, the incidence of CSF leakage following non-watertight reconstruction of the dura mater in meningioma surgery performed using dural onlay graft was 0.4%. Graft-related complications occurred in 2.3%. These figures compare favorably to the majority of the series in which watertight dural closure is described and emphasized.

Abbreviation used in this paper: PTFE = polytetrafluoroethylene.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Joung H. Lee, M.D., Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, Desk R-20, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online August 13, 2010; DOI: 10.3171/2010.7.JNS10460.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



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    Intraoperative photographs. Left: Extensive resection of a right-sided orbit-sphenoid meningioma resulting in a large dural defect. Right: Onlay application of the collagen matrix graft.



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