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, 9 (5), 553-5

Cranioplasty for Patients With Severe Depressed Skull Bone Defect After Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting

Case Reports

Cranioplasty for Patients With Severe Depressed Skull Bone Defect After Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting

Chun-Chih Liao et al. J Clin Neurosci.


Cranioplasty is indicated for patients with a skull bone defect. Patients may achieve subjective and objective improvements after cranioplasty. Some patients with severe brain swelling treated with decompressive craniectomy may develop hydrocephalus associated with severe brain bulging or even herniation via the skull bone defect. Consequently, these patients require a ventriculoperitoneal (V-P) shunt to relieve hydrocephalus. However, after shunting for hydrocephalus, they may develop severe sinking at the skull defect. Subsequently, when doing a cranioplasty for such a depressed defect, it may result in the dysfunction of the underlying brain, or even hematoma formation due to the large dead space. In this study, we advocate a temporary procedure to occlude the V-P shunt tube to allow the expansion of a depressed scalp flap to facilitate the subsequent cranioplasty. We report four patients with severe depression of the skull defect resulting from previous traumatic brain swelling followed by decompressive craniectomy and V-P shunting for communicating hydrocephalus. A simple subcutaneous clipping of the shunt tube was performed to allow the expansion of the depressed scalp to obliterate the dead space before the cranioplasty. All four patients obtained a satisfactory result without complications and achieved good functional recovery. A temporary occlusion of the shunt tube with an aneurysm clip before cranioplasty for patients with a severely depressed scalp flap is a simple and useful procedure. This procedure can safely and effectively eliminate the dead space between the skull plate and the dura to facilitate the cranioplasty, and thus prevent the potential complication of intracranial hematoma.

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