Complications of Craniofacial Surgery for Tumors Involving the Anterior Cranial Base

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To evaluate the risk factors for postoperative complications among patients undergoing craniofacial resection for the treatment of anterior cranial base tumors, a retrospective analysis of patients treated in University of Tokyo Hospital between September 1987 and November 1996 was conducted.


Twenty-nine patients underwent 33 craniofacial resections for tumors involving the anterior cranial base. Twenty-three of the 29 patients had malignant tumors and 6 patients had benign tumors. Anterior craniofacial resection was performed using a combination of intracranial and extracranial approaches. Radiotherapy and neoadjuvant chemotherapy were administrated to some patients.


Severe intracranial infections were more common among patients who underwent partial frontal lobectomies (P < 0.03). These infections occurred only in patients who had been treated previously with a craniotomy (P < 0.02) and a total radiation dose of ≥60 Gy(P = 0.06). Neither management of the extracranial structures nor methods of reconstruction of the cranial base showed significant correlation with major postoperative complications.


Compared with previous reports, craniofacial resection has become a relatively safe and effective procedure for the treatment of tumors involving the anterior cranial base. However, additional care should be taken with patients who have experienced a previous craniotomy, frontal lobe involvement, or radiotheraphy with a total dose of ≥60 Gy.

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