BACKGROUND: In recent years, significant advances have been made in the field of expanded endonasal approaches that permit treatment of different cranial base intradural lesions.
OBJECTIVE: To report our technique of cranial base dural repair by the application of nitinol U-Clips in endoscope-assisted extended endonasal or sublabial approaches. Closure techniques and postoperative cerebrospinal (CSF) leaks are reported.
METHODS: We reviewed 11 patients with different kinds of cranial base tumors or vascular diseases (2 tuberculum sellae meningiomas, 1 planum sphenoidale meningioma, 4 craniopharyngiomas, 1 recurrent clival chordoma, 1 esthesioneuroblastoma, 1 ethmoidal melanoma metastasis, 1 basilar trunk aneurysm) who underwent an endoscope-assisted extended endonasal or sublabial approach. Dural repair was performed using nitinol U-Clips to circumferentially suture AlloDerm or fascia lata directly to the existing dural borders. Lumbar drainage was not used in 9 patients and was used in 2 patients for 5 days. Patients were evaluated for the appearance of CSF leaks.
RESULTS: Postoperative CSF leak was observed in 1 patient (9%). This required a second transnasal repair.
CONCLUSION: Circumferential dural closure with U-Clips is a useful adjunct to prevent CSF leaks after expanded endonasal or sublabial approaches to the cranial base for treatment of intracranial pathology.