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July 1997

Prognostic Factors and Outcome in Craniofacial Surgery for Malignant Cutaneous Tumors Involving the Anterior Skull Base

Author Affiliations

From the Head and Neck Surgery Service (Drs Dias, Sá, Kligerman, and Lima), the Neurosurgery Service (Dr Nogueira), and the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service (Dr Galvão), Hospital do Cancer/Instituto Nacional de Cancer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(7):738-742. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900070082013

Background:  We retrospectively reviewed the medical charts of 57 patients with advanced malignant cutaneous tumors involving the anterior skull base who underwent combined craniofacial resection in our department from January 1, 1981, to December 31, 1994.

Methods:  The data regarding histological results, demographic aspects, clinical presentation, previous treatment, extent of the disease, extent of surgical procedure, type of reconstruction, complications, and follow-up were analyzed using the χ2 method. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results:  We found prevalence of the male sex (60%) and white race (86%), with a mean age of 62 years. Thirty-five patients (61%) showed extensive lesions directly invading the anterior skull base (type II); 46 patients (81%) had been treated previously; 10 patients (18%) had dural invasion; 29 patients (51%) could not have the eyeball preserved; 32 patients (56%) underwent microsurgical reconstruction; and 45 patients (79%) underwent pericranial or galeal-pericranial flap reconstruction for the anterior skull base defect. Postoperative complications occurred in 29 patients (51%). The most common complication was postoperative infection (17 patients [59%]). Thirty-two patients (56%) were free of disease, and 4 (7%) were alive with disease at the time of our study.

Conclusions:  The extent of facial disease (P=.005) and the type of facial reconstruction (P=.01) were the most important risk factors in the development of infectious complications. Invasion of the dura and the type of reconstruction of the anterior skull base were the most important factors related to cerebrospinal fluid leakage (P=.003) and meningoencephalitis (P=.06). Invasion of the dura mater significantly affected survival (P=.005).Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:738-742