J Neurosurg. 2024 Apr 26:1-13. doi: 10.3171/2024.1.JNS232172. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of early (≤ 90 days) and delayed (> 90 days) cranioplasty following decompressive craniectomy (DC) in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

METHODS: The authors analyzed participants enrolled in the Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) and the Neurotraumatology Quality Registry (Net-QuRe) studies who were diagnosed with TBI and underwent DC and subsequent cranioplasty. These prospective, multicenter, observational cohort studies included 5091 patients enrolled from 2014 to 2020. The effect of cranioplasty timing on functional outcome was evaluated with multivariable ordinal regression and with propensity score matching (PSM) in a sensitivity analysis of functional outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended [GOSE] score) and quality of life (Quality of Life After Brain Injury [QOLIBRI] instrument) at 12 months following DC.

RESULTS: Among 173 eligible patients, 73 (42%) underwent early cranioplasty and 100 (58%) underwent delayed cranioplasty. In the ordinal logistic regression and PSM, similar 12-month GOSE scores were found between the two groups (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.87, 95% CI 0.61-1.21 and 0.88, 95% CI 0.48-1.65, respectively). In the ordinal logistic regression, early cranioplasty was associated with a higher risk for hydrocephalus than that with delayed cranioplasty (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 1.2-16). Postdischarge seizure rates (early cranioplasty: aOR 1.73, 95% CI 0.7-4.7) and QOLIBRI scores (β -1.9, 95% CI -9.1 to 9.6) were similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Functional outcome and quality of life were similar between early and delayed cranioplasty in patients who had undergone DC for TBI. Neurosurgeons may consider performing cranioplasty during the index admission (early) to simplify the patient’s chain of care and prevent readmission for cranioplasty but should be vigilant for an increased possibility of hydrocephalus. Clinical trial registration nos.: CENTER-TBI, NCT02210221 (clinicaltrials.gov); Net-QuRe, NTR6003 (trialsearch.who.int) and NL5761 (onderzoekmetmensen.nl).

PMID:38669706 | DOI:10.3171/2024.1.JNS232172