Sphenoid dysplasia in neurofibromatosis type 1: a new technique for repair

Gianpiero Tamburrini, Concezio Di Rocco, Luca Massimi, Mario Giordano, Di Rocco Concezio, Samii Amir, Giordano Mario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Sphenoid bone dysplasia in neurofibromatosis type 1 is characterized by progressive exophthalmos and facial disfiguration secondary to herniation of meningeal and cerebral structures. We describe a technique for reconstruction of the sphenoid defect apt at preventing or correcting the ocular globe dislocation. Methods: After placement of spinal cerebrospinal fluid drainage to reduce intracranial pressure, the temporal pole is posteriorly dislocated extradurally. The greater sphenoid wing defect is identified. A titanium mesh covered by lyophilized dura, modeled in a curved fashion, is interposed between the bone defect and the cerebro-meningeal structures with its convex surface over the retracted temporal pole. Results: The particular configuration of the titanium mesh allows a self-maintaining position due to the pressure exerted by the brain over its convex central part with its lateral margins consequently pushed and self-anchored against the medial and lateral walls of the temporal fossa. Screw fixation is not needed. The technique utilized in four cases proved to be reliable at the long-term clinical and neuroradiological controls (6 to 19 years). Conclusion: Sphenoid bone dysplasia in NF1, resulting in proptosis and exophthalmos, is usually progressive. It can be surgically repaired using a curved titanium mesh with the convexity faced to the temporal pole that is in the opposite fashion from all the techniques previously introduced. When utilized early in life, the technique can prevent the occurrence of the orbital and facial disfiguration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-986
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bone Diseases, Developmental
  • Dysplasia
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neurofibromatosis 1
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
  • Sphenoid Bone
  • Technique


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