The computed tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging films of 57 patients who underwent anterior or anterolateral cranial base surgery from January 1987 to August 1989 were retrospectively reviewed to ascertain the significance of early and late postoperative intracranial imaging changes. Extra-axial changes (air, blood, cerebrospinal fluid collection) were found in 96% of patients; axial changes (brain edema, contusion) were seen in 30% of patients in the first postoperative period (72 hours). Subsequently, extra-axial changes began to resolve but axial changes became more prevalent. After 6 months, only axial changes persisted (encephalomalacia). It was encouraging to find a low correlation of imaging abnormalities with clinically significant findings.
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