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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 217--222

Complications related to sitting position during Pediatric Neurosurgery: An institutional experience and review of literature

Department of Neuroanesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Girija P Rath
Department of Neuroanesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.222852

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Background: Sitting position is preferred during posterior fossa surgeries as it provides better anatomical orientation and a clear surgical field. However, its use has been declining due to its propensity to cause life-threatening complications. This study was carried out to analyze the perioperative complications and postoperative course of children who underwent neurosurgery in sitting position. Materials and Methods: Medical records of 97 children (<18 years) who underwent neurosurgery in sitting position over a period of 12 years, were retrospectively analyzed. Data pertaining to the perioperative course such as demographics, hemodynamic changes, various complications, duration of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay, and neurological status at discharge were recorded. Statistical analysis was done by chi-square and Mann–Whitney test, and a P value <0.05 was considered as significant. Results: The median age of these children was 12 (3–18) years. Hemodynamic instability was observed in 12 (12.3%) children. A total of 38 episodes of venous air embolism (VAE) were encountered in 21 (21.6%) children; nine experienced multiple episodes. VAE was associated with hypotension in five (23.8%) and desaturation in four (19.1%) children. Six children presented with postoperative tension pneumocephalus; three were managed with twist drill burr-hole evacuation. Brainstem handling was the most common indication (42.5%) for the requirement of elective postoperative ventilation. The duration of ICU and hospital stays were comparable among the children who experienced VAE and those who did not (P > 0.05). Neurological status at discharge was also comparable between these two groups (P = 0.83). Conclusions: This study observed a lesser incidence of VAE and associated complications. Tension pneumocephalus was managed successfully without any adverse outcome. Hence, it is believed that with meticulous anesthetic and surgical techniques, sitting position can safely be practiced in children undergoing neurosurgery.


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