The Surgical Treatment of Posttraumatic Skull Base Defects with Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak

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Abstract

Objectives

The objective was to explore further the surgical treatment of posttraumatic skull base defects with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and to identify the most common factors affecting the surgical treatment of posttraumatic skull base defect with CSF leak retrospectively.

Materials and Methods

This study included 144 patients with head trauma having skull base defect with CSF leak who had been surgically treated at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University from 1998 to June 2016. There were 113 (78.5%) males and 31 (21.5%) females, with age ranging from 1 to 78 years and mean age of 26.58 ± 14.95 years. We explored the surgical approaches for the treatment of the skull base defect and the graft materials used and also measured the association among surgical approaches; location, size, and type of skull base defects; presence or absence of associated intracranial pathologies; postoperative complications; outcome; age; Glasgow outcome score (GOS) at discharge; and days of hospital stay.

Results

The location, size, and types of skull base defect and the presence of associated intracranial pathologies were the common factors identified not only for choosing the appropriate surgical approach but also for choosing the materials for defect repair, timing of the surgery, and the method used for the defect as well as leak repair. The statistically significant correlation with p < 0.001 was found in this study.

Conclusion

From this study, we could conclude that size, location, and types of the defect and the presence of associated intracranial injuries were the common factors that affected the surgical treatment of posttraumatic skull base defect with CSF leak. Hence, the importance of careful evaluation of these factors is essential for proper selection of the surgical approach and for avoiding unnecessary hassles.

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