Resorbable Mesh Cranioplasty Repair of Bilateral Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks Following Pediatric Simultaneous Bilateral Auditory Brainstem Implant Surgery

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To present a child with cochlear nerve deficiency (CND) who received simultaneous bilateral simultaneous auditory brainstem implants (BS-ABI) and subsequently presented with bilateral cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks unresponsive to standard treatments. To propose a novel rigid retrosigmoid cranioplasty for treating and preventing CSF leaks in children at high risk for this complication.


A 3.5-year-old child with CND, vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheo-esophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and limb abnormalities, coloboma, heart defect, atresia choanae, retarded growth and development, genital abnormality, and ear abnormality, Arnold Chiari malformation, previous treated tracheo-esophageal fistula underwent BS-ABI. Postoperatively, the child had recurrent bilateral retroauricular fluid collections. A standard revision procedure revealed breaches in the dural closure, migration of the auditory brainstem implantation (ABI) receiver stimulator on both sides and was unsuccessful in stopping the leak.


Bilateral repair with free fat grafting filling the craniectomy space and two absorbable meshes of poly-L-D-lactic (PLDL) acid stabilized with PLDL pins on the surrounding cranium, one to stabilize the fat graft and one to fix the ABI receiver stimulators inside the subperiosteal pockets.

Main Outcome Measure:

CSF leak recurrence, postoperative computed tomographic (CT) scans, intra- and postoperative simultaneous electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses (EABRs). Subjective and objective assessment of ABI function.


No postoperative CSF leaks at 60 days follow-up. EABRs and consistent behavioral responses obtained at initial mapping on both sides.


The use of BS-ABI likely contributed to bilateral CSF leaks requiring revision surgeries in this child. Simultaneous bilateral craniotomies can put patients at risk for CSF leak. A novel cranioplasty technique employed finally proved successful in stopping the CSF leak in this case.

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