Predicting Outcome in Skull Base Osteomyelitis: An Assessment of Demographic, Clinical, and Pathological Attributes
J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2021 Sep 28;12(4):751-757. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1735324. eCollection 2021 Oct.
Objective Skull base osteomyelitis (SBO) is an enigmatic clinical diagnosis which is difficult to decipher and is associated with poor outcomes. The study aims to examine the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with SBO and its outcomes. Materials and Methods Medical records of 30 patients with diagnosis of SBO over past 5 years were assessed for demographic and clinical characteristics, type of SBO, radiological parameters, treatment received, procedure performed, microbiological profile, comorbidities, and complications including cranial nerve (CN) palsies. These factors were analyzed for prediction of outcome (death or survival). Statistical Analysis Microsoft Office Excel 2010 SAS 10.0 for Windows was used. Student’s t -test for continuous variables (age, duration of symptoms, number of days of hospitalization, and treatment duration) and chi-square test for categorical variables (imaging findings, symptomatology, presence of comorbidities, surgical procedure, complications, and type of antibiotics) were utilized. Results We found SBO was the disease of elderly population (64.07 ± 6.13 years) with male predominance (83.3%) highly associated with uncontrolled diabetes status (93.3%). Headache (100%) and CN palsy (80%) were the most common neurological presenting complaints followed by stroke (17%) and encephalopathy (10%). Pathological and radiological correlation showed that fungal infection ( Aspergillus ) was associated with anterior SBO (10%), while bacteria ( Pseudomonas ) was cultured from posterior SBO (30%). Fifty per cent of patients were alive after 1 year out of which 33% had good functional outcome. The mortality rate was 33.3% in our cohort and multiple lower CN palsies ( p = 0.04), suboptimal duration of medical treatment ( p = 0.03), surgical intervention during clinical course ( p = 0.02), and development of intracranial or extracranial complications ( p = 0.03) were the predictors of mortality. Conclusion Early diagnosis including identification of pathogenic organisms and optimal duration of treatment are crucial factors for improved outcomes in SBO.