Objective: A watertight and meticulous dural closure is an essential step after intradural neurosurgical procedures. When such a task cannot be performed, dural replacement materials and other adjunctive measures can provide an effective barrier between the subarachnoid compartment and the extradural space.
Methods: We present our experience with a novel collagen-derived dural substitute in a series of 114 patients undergoing a variety of neurosurgical procedures. The patients were clinically or neuroradiologically observed, for immediate and delayed local or systemic complications related to the implant. In three patients who underwent reoperation after decompressive duraplasty and craniectomy for bone flap repositioning, we performed biopsy of the dural implant for histopathological studies.
Results: None of the patients experienced local or systemic complications or toxicity related to the dural patch. None of the patients experienced a postoperative cerebrospinal fluid fistula, except one patient who underwent an endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal marsupialization of a large intrasuprasellar arachnoid cyst; the fistula required reoperation for cerebrospinal fluid fistula repair and intravenous antibiotic therapy for bacterial meningitis. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans showed signs of severe inflammatory response in only one patient who did not present any postoperative clinical symptom or neurological deficits. Three patients underwent reoperation for bone flap repositioning after decompressive craniectomy; in all patients, the dural substitute appeared to have promoted satisfactory dural regeneration, as confirmed by the histological studies. Furthermore, in such patients, no or minimal adherence with the other tissues and the brain cortex was observed.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the new collagen-only biomatrix is a safe and effective dural substitute for routine neurosurgical procedures. The absence of local and systemic toxicity or complications and the scarce promotion of adherences and inflammation make this material appealing for its use as a dural substitute, even in cases in which the necessity of reoperation is foreseen.