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Diaphragm reconstruction using a TachoSil patch as alternative to intrasellar packing for small focal diaphragm defects in pituitary surgery: a cohort study.

BACKGROUND: During pituitary surgery, CSF leaks are often treated by intrasellar packing, using muscle or fat grafts. However, this strategy may interfere with the interpretation of postoperative MRI and may impact the quality of resection in cases of second surgery, due to the existence of additional fibrous tissue. We present an alternative technique, using a diaphragm reconstruction with a heterologous sponge combining fibrinogen and thrombin (TachoSil), applied in selected patients with low-flow CSF leaks. This study investigates the surgical outcome of patients treated with this strategy.

METHODS: From a cohort of 2231 patients treated from June 2011 to June 2023 by endoscopic endonasal approach for pituitary surgery, the surgical technique of diaphragm repair with TachoSil patch performed in 55 patients (2.6%) was detailed, and the rate of closure failure was analyzed at 6 months postoperatively. No intrasellar packing was used and sellar floor reconstruction was performed whenever possible. The rate of postoperative CSF leak was compared with that reported in three previous publications that also used the TachoSil patch technique.

RESULTS: Patients were mostly women (F/M ratio: 1.2) with a median age of 53.6 years. Surgery was indicated for non-functioning adenomas, Cushing's disease, acromegaly, and Rathke's cleft cysts in 38/55 (69.1%), 6/55 (10.9%), 5/55 (9.1%) and 6/55 (10.9%) patients respectively. The rate of postoperative CSF leak was 1.8% (n = 1/55), which was not significantly different from that reported in the three cohorts from the literature (2.8%, p > 0.05). No postoperative meningitis was recorded.

CONCLUSIONS: In highly selected patients with low-flow CSF leaks related to small focal diaphragm defects, diaphragm reconstruction using a TachoSil patch can be a safe and valuable alternative to intrasellar packing.

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