Introduction: Frontal sinus fracture management continues to be a point of controversy. Many systematic reviews have been done, but meta-analyses comparing various approaches to frontal sinus fractures are scarce. Our study focuses on open surgical repair versus endoscopic repair of frontal sinus fractures.
Materials and methods: A MEDLINE search was performed to identify prospective RCTs, non-RCTs, guidelines, case-control, and observational studies published in English before April 2019. Search terms included (1) frontal sinus, (2) skull fractures, (3) frontal bone, alone or in combination. An in-depth review was conducted to identify publications relevant to this analysis. Studies that included pediatric patients, case reports, and review articles without original data were excluded. Postoperative outcomes included were cosmesis, sinus function, mucocele, sinusitis, cerebrospinal fluid leak, meningitis, and brain abscess. Meta-analysis of proportions, Fisher exact test, and relative risks were calculated.
Results: Seven studies were ultimately included in the meta-analysis. The assessment of heterogeneity indicated that the studies are comparable. The weighted outcome proportions of patients with postoperative cosmetic deformity and mucocele are found to be significantly higher in patients who underwent open repair compared to patients who received endoscopic treatment. No significant difference between the 2 intervention groups in regards to the other outcomes.
Conclusion: Based on this meta-analysis, no definitive conclusions regarding superiority of one approach over the other can be made. There are currently no universally accepted algorithms that aid in the decision to proceed with either approach. It is likely that these 2 techniques will come to serve different roles in treatment, as they can each be utilized to achieve different goals. At this time, the only recommendation is to proceed with whichever technique can be safely performed based upon surgeon experience and fracture pattern.
Copyright © 2020 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.