Nasoseptal Flap Reconstruction of Pediatric Sellar Defects: A Radiographic Feasibility Study and Case Series

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In this study, we used computed tomography measurements to investigate the feasibility of nasoseptal flap reconstruction of sellar defects in children, and we reviewed our institutional experience with the procedure.

Study Design

Cross-sectional and case series.


Pediatric tertiary care facility.


We obtained 10 normal maxillofacial scans for each year of age from birth to 18. Computer-assisted nasal and skull-base measurements were performed. Patients with incomplete pneumatization were excluded from analysis. Reconstruction was presumed feasible if the ratio of nasoseptal flap length to associated sellar defect length was greater than 1. Chart review identified surgical patients.


Of 190 scans, 125 had complete pneumatization. Of these, 120 (96%) displayed a ratio of nasoseptal flap length to sellar defect length greater than 1, suggesting that reconstruction would be feasible. Mean ratio of flap length to defect length for all subjects was 1.47 (SD 0.33; 95% CI, 1.41-1.53). Only 5 of 125 patients (4%) had a ratio less than 1; the median age for these patients was 15 years, which is older than the median age of 12 years for subjects with a ratio greater than 1 (P = .02). An inverse relationship was identified between age and ratio of flap length to defect length (r = −0.49, P < .001). Case series identified 6 children, ages 5 to 17; flap length was never described as a limitation.


Nasoseptal flap length is not a limiting factor for reconstruction of pediatric sellar defects. When compared with older patients, younger patients tend to have greater nasoseptal flap length relative to sellar defect length.

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