Autologous Skull Bone Flap Sterilization after Decompressive Craniectomy: An Update

Paolo Missori, Daniele Marruzzo, Sergio Paolini, Arsen Seferi, Marco Fricia, Massimo Chiara, Valeria Palmarini, Maurizio Domenicucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To report new results with ethylene oxide sterilization and new experiences with autogenous bone flaps autoclaved at a high or low temperature for preservation of a bone flap after decompressive craniectomy. Methods In 45 patients who underwent a decompressive craniectomy, we determined bone flap preservation with ethylene oxide and with high- or low-temperature autoclave sterilization. Results The bone flap was repositioned after a mean of 10 weeks in the ethylene oxide group and after 6 weeks in the other sterilization groups. A bone flap infection developed in 1 patient (2%), which required removal and subsequent methyl methacrylate cranioplasty. In 1 child, the bone flap had partially reabsorbed after 12 months. In all other patients, esthetic results were good after an average follow-up of 42 months. At follow-up, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the bone flap showed preservation of structural features with apparent fusion and revitalization at the bone flap margins. Conclusions Ethylene oxide and high- or low-temperature autoclave bone sterilization techniques for the preservation of autologous bone flaps after decompressive craniectomy were safe, rapid, and inexpensive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-483
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Bone
  • Cranioplasty
  • Decompressive craniectomy
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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