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Title: Tension pneumocephalus secondary to positive pressure ventilation following endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery: three-year follow-up after implementation of an institutional protocol.
Authors: Shah J.;Kam J.;Castle-Kirszbaum M.;Uren B.;Rimmer J. ;Goldschlager T. 
Monash Health Department(s): Neurosurgery
Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
Institution: (Shah) Department of Neurosurgery, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
(Kam, Castle-Kirszbaum, Goldschlager) Department of Neurosurgery, Monash Health, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Surgery, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
(Uren, Rimmer) Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Monash Health, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Surgery, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Issue Date: 12-Jun-2024
Copyright year: 2024
Place of publication: United States
Publication information: World Neurosurgery. (no pagination), 2024. Date of Publication: 04 Jun 2024.
Journal: World Neurosurgery.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Tension pneumocephalus (PMC) is a rare and feared complication following the endonasal endoscopic approach (EEA) to skull base procedures. This is a neurosurgical emergency that requires urgent decompression to avoid catastrophic neurological damage or death. An avoidable cause is the application of positive pressure ventilation (PPV) in EEA patients for postoperative hypoxia. Our institution implemented a hospital-wide protocol in response to this to identify and manage at-risk patients; the present paper aims to identify if this protocol was effective in lowering the rates of tension PMC secondary to PPV. RESULT(S): In the 3 years following the implementation of the protocol, 110 patients underwent EEAs, from which 1 case of tension PMC (found to be not secondary to PPV) was identified. This is compared to 2 cases of tension PMC secondary to PPV over the preceding 5 years, out of 406 EEA patients. This constitutes a quantifiable reduction in PPV-related tension PMC in both standard and extended approach EEAs, signifying the effective uptake of the protocol. CONCLUSION(S): We found no cases of tension PMC after PPV following EEA skull base surgery in our institution since the implementation of an institution-wide guideline. This underscores the utility of our simple and cost-effective preventative protocol in reducing the overall rates of tension PMC following the inadvertent postoperative application of PPV. Further research is needed to study the comparative risks and benefits of PPV in the post-EEA patient and thus inform future iterations of the protocol.Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PubMed URL: 38843965 []
Type: Article
Subjects: hypoxia
positive pressure ventilation
skull surgery
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