A peri-operative bundle, which consisted of peri-operative vancomycin (4 doses), a barrier dressing through post-operative day (POD) 3, and de-colonization of the surgical incision using topical chlorhexidine from POD 4 to 7, was associated with reduced SSI rates and the need for re-do cranioplasties 1) In short-term follow-up, vancomycin and tobramycin-impregnated polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) reconstruction appears safe and effective in salvage cranioplasty 2).
Implantation of autologous cryopreserved bone has been associated with infection rates of up to 33%, resulting in considerable patient morbidity 3).
The purpose of a study is to establish the safety and utility of antibiotic-impregnated polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) for salvage cranioplasty.A prospectively maintained database of all patients who underwent salvage cranioplasty using vancomycin and tobramycin-impregnated methyl methacrylate from January 2011 to July 2013 was reviewed. Vancomycin and tobramycin were mixed in PMMA, which was then applied to a rigidly fixed titanium mesh for reconstruction. Patients' demographics, indications, and outcomes of this technique were evaluated.Nine patients (mean age: 47 years) underwent vancomycin and tobramycin-impregnated PMMA reconstruction with a mean follow-up of 9.3 months (range 3.5-23 months). On average, these patients underwent 4 procedures (range: 1-15), which included repeat craniotomy, debridement for infection, and failed reconstructions over the course of 3.6 years (range: 7 months to 14 years) before salvage cranioplasty. All patients required salvage cranioplasty due to infection, with the most common bacteria isolated in culture being Propionibacterium acnes (n = 3), multiresistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (n = 3), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (n = 2), and Enterobacter (n = 2). The average size of the craniectomy defect was 130 cm(2), and there were no incidences of postoperative infection, postoperative complications, or need for revisions.To conclude, in short-term follow-up, vancomycin and tobramycin-impregnated PMMA reconstruction appears safe and effective in salvage cranioplasty. Our early report represents a proof of concept–the true test is whether these short-term successes translate to stable long-term results 4).