Never say never again: A bone graft infection due to a hornet sting, thirty-nine years after cranioplasty

Domenico Iacopino, Antonella Giugno, Rosario Maugeri, Francesca Graziano, Carlo Gulì, Luigi Basile, Roberto G. Giammalva, Domenico G. Iacopino, Antonella Giugno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cranioplasty (CP) is a widespread surgical procedure aimed to restore skull integrity and physiological cerebral hemodynamics, to improve neurological functions and to protect the underlying brain after a life-saving decompressive craniectomy (DC). Nevertheless, CP is still burdened by surgical complications, among which early or late graft infections are the most common outcome-threatening ones. Case Description: We report the case of 48-year-old man admitted to our neurosurgical unit because of a painful right frontal swelling and 1-week purulent discharge from a cutaneous fistula. He had been undergone frontal CP because of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) when he was 9-year-old. Since then, his medical history has been being unremarkable without any surgical or infective complication of the graft for 39 years, until he was accidentally stung by a hornet in the frontal region. After the CT scan and laboratory findings had evidenced a probable infection of the graft, the patient was treated by vancomycin and cefepime before he underwent surgical revision of its former CP, with the removal of the graft and the debridement of the surgical field. Subsequent bacteriological tests revealed Staphylococcus aureus as causal agent of that infection. Conclusion: This case illustrates an anecdotal example of very late CP infection, due to an unpredictable accident. Due to lack of consensus on risk factors and on conservative or surgical strategy in case of graft infection, we aimed to share our surgical experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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