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Consensus-based recommendations for diagnosis and surgical management of cranioplasty and post-traumatic hydrocephalus from a European panel.

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Iaccarino, Corrado 
Chibbaro, Salvatore 
Sauvigny, Thomas 
Timofeev, Ivan 
Zaed, Ismail 


INTRODUCTION: Planning cranioplasty (CPL) in patients with suspected or proven post-traumatic hydrocephalus (PTH) poses a significant management challenge due to a lack of clear guidance. RESEARCH QUESTION: This project aims to create a European document to improve adherence and adapt to local protocols based on available resources and national health systems. METHODS: After a thorough non-systematic review, a steering committee (SC) formed a European expert panel (EP) for a two-round questionnaire using the Delphi method. The questionnaire employed a 9-point Likert scale to assess the appropriateness of statements inherent to two sections: "Diagnostic criteria for PTH" and "Surgical strategies for PTH and cranial reconstruction." RESULTS: The panel reached a consensus on 29 statements. In the "Diagnostic criteria for PTH" section, five statements were deemed "appropriate" (consensus 74.2-90.3 %), two were labeled "inappropriate," and seven were marked as "uncertain."In the "Surgical strategies for PTH and cranial reconstruction" section, four statements were considered "appropriate" (consensus 74.2-90.4 %), six were "inappropriate," and five were "uncertain." DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Planning a cranioplasty alongside hydrocephalus remains a significant challenge in neurosurgery. Our consensus conference suggests that, in patients with cranial decompression and suspected hydrocephalus, the most suitable diagnostic approach involves a combination of evolving clinical conditions and neuroradiological imaging. The recommended management sequence prioritizes cranial reconstruction, with the option of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt when needed, preferably with a programmable valve. We strongly recommend to adopt local protocols based on expert consensus, such as this, to guide patient care.



Cranioplasty, Diagnosis, Post-traumatic hydrocephalus, Surgical strategy

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Brain Spine

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Elsevier BV