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Safety and efficacy of hydroset cranioplasty as an adjunct to gasket-seal and nasoseptal flap closure of the skull base. A case-controlled study.

BACKGROUND: Cerebrospinal fluid leak after endoscopic skull base surgery remains a significant complication. Several investigators have suggested Hydroset cranioplasty to reduce leak rates. We investigated our early experience with Hydroset and compared the rate of nasal complications and CSF leak rates with case-controlled historic controls.

METHODS: We queried a prospective database of patients undergoing first time endoscopic, endonasal resection of suprasellar meningiomas and craniopharyngiomas from 2015 to 2023. We compared cases closed with a gasket seal, Hydroset, and a nasoseptal flap with those closed with only a gasket seal and nasoseptal flap. Demographics, technical considerations and postoperative outcomes (SNOT-22) were compared.

RESULTS: Seventy patients met inclusion criteria, twenty patients in the Hydroset group (meningioma n = 12; craniopharyngioma n = 8) and 50 control patients (meningioma n = 25; craniopharyngioma n = 25). CSF diversion was used in fewer Hydroset patients (75%, 15/20) compared with control group (94%, 47/50; p = 0.02). CSF leak was less frequent in the Hydroset than the control group (5% versus 12%, p = 0.38). One Hydroset patient required delayed nasal debridement. SNOT-22 responses demonstrated no significant difference in sinonasal complaints between groups (Hydroset average SNOT-22 score 22.45, control average SNOT-22 score 25.90; p = 0.58).

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that hydroxyapatite reconstruction leads to improved CSF leak control above that provided by the gasket-seal and nasoseptal flap, without significant associated morbidity as long as the cement is fully covered with vascularized tissue.

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