Duraplasty Type as a Predictor of Meningitis and Shunting After Chiari I Decompression

Harrison Farber, Michael M. McDowell, Ahmad Alhourani, Nitin Agarwal, Robert M. Friedlander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Expansile duraplasty is frequently performed during Chiari I decompression. Aseptic and bacterial meningitis are possible complications of this procedure. We sought to compare the rates of meningitis and subsequent need for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion with duraplasty using bovine pericardial (BPC) xenograft and allograft. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 112 patients who underwent Chiari I decompression. All patients underwent duraplasty with either allograft or BPC. Occurrence of postoperative lumbar punctures and associated data were recorded to determine rates of meningitis. Rates of subsequent shunting were also recorded. Results: Overall, 112 patients were included in the study: 30 underwent duraplasty with allograft (27%) and 82 received BPC (73%). A total of 26 patients developed postoperative meningitis (23 cases of chemical meningitis and 3 of bacterial meningitis). Rates of meningitis were higher in patients who received BPC than patients who received allograft (28% vs. 10%, respectively; P = 0.047). The rate of shunting was greater in patients with meningitis compared with patients without meningitis (56.5% vs. 5.75%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Moreover, 13 of the 15 patients (87%) in the BPC cohort who were shunted were found to have meningitis compared with 0 of the 3 shunted patients (0%) in the allograft cohort (P = 0.044). Conclusions: We found that rates of total meningitis were greater in patients who underwent Chiari I decompression and duraplasty with BPC compared with an allograft. The rate of shunting was significantly higher for patients who developed meningitis after decompression compared with patients without meningitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e778-e783
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • AlloDerm
  • Bovine pericardium
  • Chemical meningitis
  • Chiari decompression
  • Duraplasty


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