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Emergency Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 99–107 | Cite as

Post-operative complications of craniotomy and craniectomy

  • Komal A. Chughtai
  • Omar P. Nemer
  • Alexander T. Kessler
  • Alok A. BhattEmail author
Pictorial Essay
  • 229 Downloads

Abstract

Craniotomy and craniectomy are widely performed emergent neurosurgical procedures and are the prescribed treatment for a variety of conditions from trauma to cancer. It is vital for the emergency radiologist to be aware of expected neuroimaging findings in post-craniotomy and craniectomy patients in order to avoid false positives. It is just as necessary to be familiar with postsurgical complications in these patients to avoid delay in lifesaving treatment. This article will review the commonly encountered normal and abnormal findings in post-craniotomy and craniectomy patients. The expected postoperative CT and MRI appearance of these procedures are discussed, followed by complications. These include hemorrhage, tension pneumocephalus, wound/soft tissue infection, bone flap infection and extradural abscesses. Complications specifically related to craniectomies include extracranial herniation, external brain tamponade, paradoxical herniation, and trephine syndrome.

Keywords

Craniotomy Tension pneumocephalus Abscess Trephine syndrome 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© American Society of Emergency Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Imaging SciencesUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Buffalo VA Medical CenterUniversity at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesBuffaloUSA

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