The authors report a retrospective review of their experience using nonpenetrating titanium anastomotic clips for dural closure in 27 pediatric cases (26 patients) of spinal surgery for a variety of diagnoses. The goal of this review was to define the utility of these clips in pediatric neurosurgical spinal procedures, identify complications of their use, and assess the effects on postoperative imaging because of their use.
Institutional review board approval was obtained for a retrospective chart review of all patients in whom titanium dural clips had been utilized. Patients were identified over a 2-year period using hospital and clinic records, and data were collected on the patient demographics, surgical diagnosis and procedure, durotomy location and length, and adjunctive closure methods. Postoperative complications were assessed. When available, postoperative imaging data were reviewed.
Twenty-six patients underwent 27 operations over a 20-month period. They ranged in age from 2.5 months to 18.5 years, with a median age of 3.2 years and an average age of 5.8 years. The operative diagnosis was some form of spinal dysraphism in 19 patients, with a syrinx or dural tear in 2 patients each, and an arachnoid cyst in 3 cases; 1 patient had a tumor resected. Operative levels included lumbosacral (19), thoracic (7), and cervical (1). Dural exposure was limited to 1 laminar level in 16 cases, 2 levels in 8, and 3 levels in 1; 2 cases involved focal dural tears. A combination of additional hemostatic and tissue sealant materials was applied over the clips in 16 cases. One patient required reoperation 13 months after clip placement. Prior clip use did not make subsequent exposure and opening more complicated. No significant complications were identified in the follow-up period ranging from 1 to 24 months. There were no documented CSF leaks. The clips are not easily seen on plain radiographs and did not cause artifacts or distortion on either CT or MR imaging.
Nonpenetrating titanium anastomotic clips afford an effective means of closure while limiting the exposure needed, and thus allowing more minimally invasive approaches. In tight spaces, dural closure is accomplished more easily and faster with the clips as compared with conventional suturing. No significant complications were seen from clip use, and the clips did not interfere with postoperative imaging.