Cranioplasty Cognitive Outcome Study

2019-01-10 10:34:17 | BioPortfolio


This will be a multicenter prospective randomized study of adult patients with an acquired skull defect as a result of craniectomy and considered suitable for cranioplasty, i.e. reconstruction of the skull defect, at all seven Hong Kong Hospital Authority neurosurgical units. Patients that underwent their primary craniectomy operation at any of the Hospital Authority neurosurgery centers from the 1st March 2019 and considered suitable for cranioplasty will be included in this study. Those who underwent their primary craniectomy before 1st March 2019 or at an institution other than the aforementioned neurosurgical units will be excluded. Data from clinical records, operation notes, medication-dispensing records, laboratory records and radiological reports will be collected.

30 adult patients with craniectomy will be recruited and randomized into two groups: "early" cranioplasty, i.e. performed within 3 months of craniectomy, and "late", i.e. cranioplasty performed more than 3 months after the operation. The aim of the study is to determine whether early cranioplasty can improve on patient's cognitive performance compared to those who undergo the procedure after 3 months.


Decompressive craniectomy, a neurosurgical procedure where a portion of the skull calvarium is removed, is a life-saving procedure. The complication rate of cranioplasty, a neurosurgical procedure where the acquired skull defect is reconstructed, ranges from 11% to 26% and includes postoperative hemorrhage and infection. (4) The syndrome of the trephined is a recognized long-term complication in which certain groups of patients, experience debilitating neurocognitive deficits in addition to chronic headache, dizziness, fatigability and clinical depression. (2) It is believed that the lack of an overlying bone may cause undue significant atmospheric pressure on the underlying cortex, thereby reducing cerebral perfusion and cerebrospinal fluid flow. There are reports that cognitive improvement can be observed in up to 30% of patients after cranioplasty yet the underlying mechanism for this observation is unclear. (1) Some studies have demonstrated enhanced cerebral perfusion by non-invasive investigations, but there is a lack of large scale systematically performed studies to verify such cerebral hemodynamic effects. (1-3) Clinical equipoise exists regarding the optimum timing of cranioplasty procedures after craniectomies. While the anecdotal practice of delaying cranioplasty for at least 3 months after a craniectomy is common, local and overseas observational studies suggest that performing early cranioplasties (i.e. within 3 months) is equally safe in terms of infection and other operative complications. (4-6)

Study Design


Cognitive Impairment


"Early" cranioplasty


Not yet recruiting


Kwong Wah Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-01-10T10:34:17-0500

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