Delayed foreign-body reaction to silk sutures in pediatric neurosurgical patients

Childs Nerv Syst. 1987;3(6):375-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00270712.


Nonabsorbable silk sutures have been a frequently used foreign material in neurosurgery. In general, they are reliable and safe with minimal bio-incompatibility. Three pediatric neurosurgical patients came to clinical attention, however, because of delayed foreign-body reactions to silk sutures. The delayed atypical presentation of these patients delayed appropriate diagnosis and therapy. In two patients, the reaction presented as a delayed inflammation 7 years following surgical suture placement. In the other patient, the reaction caused delayed recurrent shunt failures and surgical wound breakdown. These three cases are used to introduce a discussion of the delayed response of the host to foreign material and its pertinence to neurosurgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / surgery*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / chemically induced*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / pathology
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / surgery
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins*
  • Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Reoperation
  • Silk
  • Sutures*
  • Time Factors


  • Insect Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Silk