Hydroxyapatite cement to repair skull base defects: Radiologic appearance

Jane L. Weissman, Carl H. Snyderman, Barry E. Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe the radiologic appearance of hydroxyapatite cement (HAC), which, when mixed with liquid, forms a paste that can be contoured to osseous defects and, over time, becomes 'osseointegrated' (native bone grows into the pores of the HAC and forms a strong chemical bond with the substance). METHODS: Between March 1992 and June 1993, 24 adults (16 men, eight women) underwent skull base surgery that included reconstruction or closure with HAC. Fourteen patients had HAC placed in the paranasal sinuses or facial bones, and 10 bad HAC placed in the mastoid cavity. RESULTS: HAC is homogeneously radiopaque on CT scans and plain radiographs. Large amounts (ablating a frontal sinus or mastoid air cells) are readily seen; small amounts are inconspicuous. On MR images, HAC is a signal void. Infected HAC in one patient was surrounded by enhancing soft tissue on MR images, separated from native bone by an irregular radiolucent cleft on CT scans. CONCLUSIONS: HAC is a valuable addition to the surgical armamentarium for the repair of skull base defects. More experience will determine the time course for normal osseointegration, as well as the typical appearance of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1569-1574
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Skull, base
  • Skull, surgery
  • Surgery, reconstructive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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