Intracranial complications following mastoidectomy

Lela Migirov, Ana Eyal, Jona Kronenberg
Pediatric Neurosurgery 2004, 40 (5): 226-9
Mastoidectomy is a common surgical procedure in otology. However, postoperative complications of various degrees of severity may occur. We present 4 children who underwent mastoidectomy for middle ear and mastoid disease and developed postoperative intracranial complications. One child was operated on for brain abscess 1 week after the initial mastoidectomy. Another child appeared with seizures 5 days after the initial mastoidectomy and a subdural empyema was drained during revision surgery. Large bone defects with exposed middle cranial fossa dura were found at revision surgery in both cases and Proteus vulgaris and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were isolated from the mastoid and abscess cavities in these children. A small epidural collection was diagnosed in the third patient 2 days after initial mastoid surgery and was managed with intravenous antibiotics only. The other child was found to have sigmoid sinus thrombosis the day after mastoidectomy that was performed for nonresponsive acute mastoiditis. This child received both intravenous antibiotics and anticoagulants. Timely revision surgery, combinations of third- or fourth-generation cephalosporins with vancomycin or metronidazole and the addition of anticoagulants in cases of sinus thrombosis can lead to full recovery.

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