Reduced CSF leak in complete calvarial reconstructions of microvascular decompression craniectomies using calcium phosphate cement

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  • Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
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OBJECT

Calcium phosphate cement provides a biomaterial that can be used for calvarial reconstruction in a retrosigmoid craniectomy for microvascular decompression (MVD). This study evaluates the outcomes of postoperative CSF leak and wound infection for patients undergoing a complete cranioplasty using calcium phosphate cement versus incomplete cranioplasty using polyethylene titanium mesh following a retrosigmoid craniectomy for MVD.

METHODS

The authors evaluated 211 cases involving patients who underwent first-time retrosigmoid craniectomies performed by a single attending surgeon fortrigeminal neuralgia from October 2008 to June 2014. From this patient population, 111 patients underwent calvarial reconstruction after retrosigmoid craniectomy using polyethylene titanium mesh, and 100 patients had reconstructions using calcium phosphate cement. A Pearson’s chi-square test was used to compare postoperative complications of CSF leak and wound infection in these 2 types of cranioplasties.

RESULTS

The polyethylene titanium mesh group included 5 patients (4.5%) with postoperative CSF leak or pseudomeningocele and 3 patients (2.7%) with wound infections. In the calcium phosphate cement group, no patients had a CSF leak, and 2 patients (2%) had wound infections. This represented a statistically significant reduction of postoperative CSF leak in patients who underwent calcium phosphate reconstructions of their calvarial defect compared with those who underwent polyethylene titanium mesh reconstructions (p = 0.03). No significant difference was seen between the 2 groups in the number of patients with postoperative wound infections.

CONCLUSIONS

Calcium phosphate cement provides a viable alternative biomaterial for calvarial reconstruction of retrosigmoid craniectomy defects in patients who have an MVD. The application of this material provides a biocompatible barrier that reduces the incidence of postoperative CSF leaks.

ABBREVIATIONSMMA = methyl methacrylate; MVD = microvascular decompression.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Michael Lim, Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Phipps Bldg., Rm. 123, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287. email: mlim3@jhmi.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online July 31, 2015; DOI: 10.3171/2015.1.JNS142102.

Disclosure Dr. Lim reports being a consultant for and receiving clinical or research support from Stryker.

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