Reconstruction of pediatric skull base defects: A retrospective analysis emphasizing the very young

Nyall R. London, Gustavo G. Rangel, Amanda Onwuka, Ricardo L. Carrau, Daniel M. Prevedello, Jeffrey A. Leonard, Patrick C. Walz

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Abstract

Introduction: Pathology of the pediatric skull base is rare and ranges from congenital defects to malignancy and traumatic defects. Pediatric patients, particularly those ≤6 years of age, present a unique set of anatomic challenges for the skull base surgeon. The goal of this study was to retrospectively review our experience with reconstruction of pediatric skull base defects with particular emphasis on those ≤6 years of age. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients ≤20 years of age who underwent endoscopic endonasal and combined endoscopic and open approaches to address cranial base pathology from 2007 to 2018. Patients were divided into two groups; those ≤6 years of age (group A) and those >6 years of age and ≤20 years of age (group B) and reconstructive techniques and outcomes were analyzed. Results: Intraoperative communication with the subarachnoid space (CSF leak) was created in 50% (3/6) of patients ≤ 6 years of age compared to 32.7% (16/49) in patients > 6 years and ≤20 years of age (P < 0.40) in management of their skull base disease. A vascularized flap was utilized for reconstruction in 66.7% (4/6) of patients ≤ 6 years of age and included a nasoseptal flap in 33.3% (2/6). A vascularized flap was utilized for reconstruction in 38.8% (19/49) of patients > 6 years and ≤20 years of age and most commonly included a nasoseptal flap (22.4%, 11/49). A lumbar drain was utilized in 50% (3/6) of patients ≤ 6 years of age compared to 18.4% (9/49) in patients > 6 and ≤20 years of age (P < 0.08). Post-operative CSF leaks were encountered in 16.7% (1/6) of patients ≤ 6 years of age compared to 10.2% (5/49) in patients > 6 and ≤20 years of age (P < 0.63). Behavioral issues were noted to potentially contribute to failed skull base reconstruction in patients <6 years of age. Conclusions: Pediatric patients, particularly those ≤6 years of age, present a unique set of anatomic and behavioral challenges for the skull base surgeon as highlighted in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109962
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volume133
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

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Keywords

  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Pediatric skull base surgery
  • Skull base reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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