Endoscopic management of paediatric meningoencephaloceles: a case series

M Stavrakas, P D Karkos, S Triaridis, J Constantinidis
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2018 September 14

INTRODUCTION: Congenital meningoencephaloceles represent a rare clinical entity, with its frequency being around 1 out of 4000-5000 live births. They usually present as a midline mass and the differential diagnosis includes dermoids, encephaloceles, and gliomas. Although the standard coronal approach with frontal craniotomy and pericranial flap has been considered the preferred method for several years, it is associated with risks and prolonged hospitalization. The endoscopic procedure is gaining ground and we are aiming to present our experience from five cases that were treated endoscopically.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five cases of paediatric meningoencephaloceles (age ranging from 2.5 to 10 years) were treated in our department between the years 2007-2017. Four children had a congenital and one child a post-traumatic meningoencephalocele. The presenting symptoms included nasal obstruction, meningitis and CSF leak. All patients had pre-operative imaging with CT and MRI scans and the preferred method of repair was multi-layered closure.

RESULTS: All our patients had uneventful recovery, without any post-operative complications. The follow-up period ranges from 39 to 98 months. All five patients remain asymptomatic and recurrence-free.

CONCLUSION: Endoscopic management of paediatric meningoencephaloceles is a reliable and safe approach and it is known to have no adverse effects on facial growth. It carries a satisfactory success rate, reduces the in-hospital stay with lower cost of treatment, better cosmesis and lower morbidity than external procedures. It requires multidisciplinary team setting in a tertiary centre with experienced endoscopic anterior skull base surgeons. Pre-operative assessment and post-operative care are of paramount importance and larger series need to be studied to reach safe conclusions and establish management guidelines.

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