Dual Dural Patch Graft With AlloDerm and DuraGen Underlay for Duraplasty in Chiari Malformation Results in Significantly Decreased Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Complications

Operative Neurosurgery 24:162–167, 2023

Grafts available for posterior fossa dural reconstruction after Chiari decompression surgery include synthetic, xenograft, allograft, and autograft materials. The reported rates of postoperative pseudomeningocele and cerebrospinal fluid leak vary, but so far, no dural patch material or technique has sufficiently eliminated these problems.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the incidence of graft-related complications after posterior fossa surgery using AlloDerm alone vs AlloDerm with a DuraGen underlay.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective single-center study of a cohort of 106 patients who underwent Chiari decompression surgery by a single surgeon from 2014 through 2021. Age, sex, body mass index, tonsillar descent, syrinx formation, type of dural graft, and follow-up data were analyzed using univariate and χ2 statistical tests.

RESULTS: The AlloDerm-only group had a percutaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak rate of 8.6% vs a 0% rate in the dual graft group (P = .037). At initial follow-up, there was a 15.5% combined rate of pseudomeningocele formation plus CSF leak in the AlloDerm-only group vs 18.8% in the AlloDerm + DuraGen group (P = .659). However, the pseudomeningoceles were larger in the AlloDerm-only cohort (45.5 vs 22.4 mm anteroposterior plane, P = .004), and 5 patients in this group required operative repair (56%). All pseudomeningoceles resolved without reoperation in the AlloDerm + DuraGen group (P = .003).

CONCLUSION: The use of a DuraGen underlay with a sutured AlloDerm dural patch resulted in significantly fewer CSF-related complications and eliminated the need for reoperation compared with AlloDerm alone. This single-center study provides evidence that buttressing posterior fossa dural grafts with a DuraGen underlay may decrease the risk of postoperative complications.

Dura Splitting Decompression for Chiari I Malformation in Pediatric Patients


Neurosurgery 72:922–929, 2013

Dural splitting decompression may be an effective and safe treatment for Chiari I malformation.

OBJECTIVE: To compare clinical outcomes, complications, and resource utilization for patients undergoing Chiari I decompression with or without duraplasty.

METHODS: Between 2000 and 2009, the senior author performed 113 Chiari I decompression operations with dural splitting or duraplasty in children less than 18 years of age; 110 were included in a retrospective cohort analysis of safety, efficacy, and treatment cost. Patients without significant syringomyelia underwent dural splitting decompression, and patients with syringomyelia underwent duraplasty.

RESULTS: Sixty-three patients without significant syringomyelia (57%) underwent dural splitting decompression. They were significantly younger than patients undergoing duraplasty (8.3 ± 4.9 years vs 10.4 ± 4.4 years; P < .05). Headaches improved or resolved in most patients in both groups (90.5% vs 93.6%; P = .59). Dysphagia, long tract signs, cranial nerve, and bulbar symptoms also improved similarly in both groups. Three duraplasty patients were treated medically for aseptic meningitis; one underwent reoperation for a symptomatic pseudomeningocele. No patient undergoing dural splitting decompression experienced a cerebrospinal fluid-related complication. Extradural decompression required less operative time than duraplasty (105.5 vs 168.9 minutes, P < .001), a shorter length of stay (2.4 vs 2.8 days, P = .011), and lower total cost for the primary hospitalization ($26 837 vs $29 862, P = .015).

CONCLUSION: In this retrospective cohort study, dural splitting decompression was equally effective, safer, and lower cost for treatment of Chiari I malformation without syringomyelia. A multicenter trial with groups balanced for the presence of syringomyelia is necessary to determine whether these results are generalizable.

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