BACKGROUND: Several materials are available for cranioplasty reconstruction and consensus regarding the ideal material is lacking. The goal of this study is to present surgical and patient-reported outcomes with PEEK versus Titanium alloplastic cranioplasty. METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients who underwent alloplastic cranioplasty with PEEK or Titanium from 2010 to 2017 was conducted. Patient demographics and complications were abstracted and analyzed. Information regarding patient-reported outcomes was collected through a telephone survey. RESULTS: A total of 72 patients (median age 55 years) who underwent 77 cranioplasties were identified (38% PEEK, n = 29; 62% Titanium, n = 48). Overall complication rates were similar between the PEEK (24%, n = 7) and Titanium groups (23%, n = 11), P = 0.902. Similarly, implant failure was similar between the 2 groups (7% in PEEK (n = 2), 13% in Titanium (n = 6), P = 0.703). History of radiation was associated with increased rate of infection in patients with Titanium mesh cranioplasty (38% in radiated patients (n = 3), 3% in nonradiated patients (n = 1), P = 0.012) but not PEEK implants (0% infection rate in radiated patients (n = 0), 15% in nonradiated patients (n = 4), P = 1.000). A total of 24 patients (33% response rate) participated in the telephone survey. All PEEK cranioplasty patients who responded to our survey (n = 13) reported good to excellent satisfaction, while 72% of our titanium mesh cohort (n = 8) described good or excellent satisfaction and 27% (n = 3) reported acceptable result. CONCLUSION: Cranial reconstruction is associated with high satisfaction among cranioplasty patients with PEEK or Titanium showing comparable complications, failure, and patient-reported satisfaction rates. Patients with history of radiotherapy demonstrated a higher infection rate when titanium mesh was used.
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