Anterior Skull Base and Pericranial Flap Ossification after Frontofacial Monobloc Advancement

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Abstract

Background:

Frontofacial monobloc advancement creates a communication between the anterior cranial fossa and nasal cavities. To tackle this issue, transorbital pericranial pedicled flaps are routinely performed in the authors’ center. This study aimed to assess the postoperative ossification of the anterior skull base and pedicled flaps following frontofacial monobloc advancement, and to identify factors influencing this ossification.

Methods:

Measurements of the skull base only and of the ossified pedicled flaps together with the skull base were performed on computed tomographic scans at the nasofrontal and the nasoethmoid frontal junctions. The total thickness of the skull vault was measured and a qualitative defect score for the anterior skull base was computed.

Results:

Twenty-two patients who underwent frontofacial monobloc advancement at a median age of 3.1 years (range, 1.9 to 3.6 years) were included: 14 with Crouzon, five with Pfeiffer, and three with Apert syndrome. One year and 5 years after surgery, the distraction gap was completely ossified in the anterior skull base midline in all patients. Ossified pedicled flaps together with the skull base were thicker in patients than in controls at these two time points (p < 0.005 and p < 0.02). Patients with Pfeiffer syndrome had a significantly thicker skull base only and ossified pedicled flaps together with the skull base thicknesses (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03) and lower defect scores than patients with Crouzon or Apert syndrome (p = 0.03) 1 year postoperatively.

Conclusion:

As ossification of the pedicled flaps and total reossification of the anterior skull base midline were observed in all patients, the authors indicate that performing pedicled flaps in frontofacial monobloc advancement surgery could promote the reossification of the anterior skull base.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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