Complication rate of transtemporal hydroxyapatite cement cranioplasties: A case series review of 76 cranioplasties

David M. Poetker, Kristen B. Pytynia, Glenn A. Meyer, P. Ashley Wackym

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the complication rate of transtemporal cranioplasties using hydroxyapatite cement (HAC) for repair. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective case review of patients receiving HAC cranioplasties in the Acoustic Neuroma and Skull Base Surgery Program between July 1998 and December 2002. Setting: This study was conducted at a tertiary referral center. Patients: A total of 76 HAC cranioplasties were performed in 72 patients undergoing lateral skull base surgery. Patients undergoing anterior skull base surgery or those in which HAC was used for other reconstructive purposes were excluded from the study. Interventions: We studied transtemporal approaches for otologic procedures requiring cranioplasty. Main Outcome Measures: Main outcomes measures consisted of complications requiring medical or surgical intervention. Results: Of the 76 HAC cranioplasties, two cranioplasty grafts became infected, requiring explantation. The first case involved a wound infection that extended into and involved the HAC graft; the second involved seeding of the HAC graft after meningitis after a percutaneous, endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement performed several days after the primary skull base surgery. This gives our series a wound infection incidence rate of 1.3% and an overall complication incidence rate of 2.63%. Conclusions: This retrospective review provides the largest series to date evaluating the incidence of infection in HAC cranioplasties. Despite having a much larger series, our complication rate is the lowest published rate of HAC cranioplasty explantation, and the incidence of superficial wound infections reported here is consistent with the published data for neurosurgical and neurotologic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-609
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Cranioplasty
  • Hydroxyapatite cement


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