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Lei Zhang, Zhiqiang Yi, Hongzhou Duan and Liang Li

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to introduce a novel autologous duraplasty procedure for the treatment of Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data from patients who had been diagnosed with CM-I and had undergone suboccipital decompression and autologous duraplasty in situ or synthetic dural graft duraplasty; patients were treated in the authors' department between 2011 and 2014. All procedures were performed by the same surgeon. The 2 duraplasty methods were compared in terms of surgical factors and complications. The authors assessed the neurological outcome and MRI-documented syrinx size at the 6-month follow-up visit.

RESULTS

Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in this study, 13 in the duraplasty in situ group and 14 in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group. The results showed no significant differences between the duraplasty in situ and synthetic dural graft duraplasty groups in overall operative time (4.9 hours vs 4.1 hours; p = 0.070), estimated blood loss (229 ml vs 254 ml; p = 0.159), and duration of hospital stay after the operation (13.5 days vs 12.8 days; p = 0.808). In the duraplasty in situ group, 1 case of meningitis occurred (7.7%). In the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group, the complications included 1 case of meningitis (7.1%) and 1 CSF leak (7.1%). The mean cost of hospitalization in the duraplasty in situ group (CNY 23,354) was significantly lower than that in the synthetic dural graft duraplasty group (CNY 29,385; p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with synthetic dural graft duraplasty, autologous duraplasty in situ is a safe, effective, and cost-effective procedure for the treatment of CM-I. The long-term outcome of this procedure requires investigation.