Adipofascial Flaps With Acellular Dermal Matrix Compared With Myocutaneous Flap Reconstruction in Lumbar Myelomeningocele Defects

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Background:Adipofascial flaps (AFF) with acellular dermal matrix (ADM) have the potential to reconstruct neural tube defects without sacrificing muscle that may be critical for long-term function. Comparative studies between myocutaneous flap (MF) reconstruction, the accepted standard reconstructive technique, and AFF/ADM remain under-reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of myelomeningocele reconstruction using muscle sparing AFF/ADM versus MF.Methods:A retrospective comparison was conducted on consecutive myelomeningocele patients reconstructed with MF or AFF/ADM over an 84-month period. Data analyzed included: basic demographics, defect size, reconstructive technique, complications, and length of follow-up. A supplemental meta-analysis based on systematic review of literature was performed to compare alternative reconstructive options.Results:Twelve patients were identified who met inclusion criteria. Median age, weight, and defect size at reconstruction in the AFF/ADM group (n = 6) was 37.5 weeks, 3.25 kg, and 20.0 cm2, respectively, and in the MF group (n = 6) was 37 weeks, 3.6 kg, and 22.5 cm2 (P > 0.5). For the AFF/ADM versus MF groups, median follow-up was 33.8 versus 22.6 months, reoperation rate was 0% versus 17% (P = 1.0), and complex skin flap closure rate was 17% versus 100% (P = 0.015). No cerebrospinal fluid leaks or surgical site infections occurred in either group. Meta-analysis of the literature revealed no statistically significant difference in complications rates between muscle and nonmuscle flap reconstruction (P > 0.5); potential long-term sequelae of muscle flap harvest were not included.Conclusions:Muscle sparing AFF with ADM is a safe and effective surgical alternative to muscle flaps for lumbar myelomeningocele reconstruction.

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