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TORRES, A. et al. Complications of craniofacial resection in anterior skull base tumors. Neurocirugía [online]. 2005, vol.16, n.6, pp.492-498. ISSN 1130-1473.

Introduction. The development of new radiographic techniques and the refinement of microsurgery and reconstructive surgery have been the responsible of the establishment of craniofacial resection (CFR) as the standard treatment of anterior skull base tumors. Overall complication rates varies from 24-56%, according to a review of recently published series. Objectives. To describe the complications of CFR in a series of 41 patients and to analyze the management and final outcome. Material and methods. From 1990 to 2002, 41 patients underwent CFR for tumors involving the anterior cranial base. The extent of the tumor was always assessed with craniofacial CT-scan and MRI. The objective of the surgical treatment was to achive "on block" remo-val of the tumor. Results. The average age was 57 years with a male preponderance (63.4%). Squamous cell carcinoma was the most frequent histopathological type of tumor. The tumors were localized in paranasal sinuses in 78% of the cases. Bifrontal craniotomy was performed in 85.4% and unilateral orbitofrontal craniotomy in 14.6% of the cases. The area of facial resection included: ethmoidectomy (60.9%), ethmoido-sphenoidectomy (24.3%), maxillectomy (39%) and orbital exenteration (14.6%). The reconstruction of the floor of the anterior cranial fossa was performed using pedicled pericranial flap (100%), local (34.1%) or microvascular free flaps (21.9%) and split calvarian graft (19.5%). 20 patients (48.7%) developed post-operative complications, CSF leaks (12.1%) and meningitis (7.3%) being the most frequent major complications. The mortality rate was 7.3%. Conclusions. CFR has become the standard approach for anterior cranial base tumors. Despite its widespread application, the complication's rate ranges between 24-50% and the procedure carries a risk of significant morbidity and even mortality. Improvement of specific aspects of surgical technique and more refined reconstructive methods will decrease the number of complications.

Palavras-chave : Craniofacial resection; Skull base; Surgical technique; Complications.

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