Human amniotic membrane as a dural substitute in neurosurgery: A systematic review

Zara Shah, Saqib Kamran Bakhshi, Mohammad Hamza Bajwa, Mujtaba Khalil, Michael C. Dewan, Shahzad M. Shamim

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Background: Several studies have highlighted the use of human amniotic membrane (HAM) in neurosurgical procedures as an effective dural substitute. HAM has inherent antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties and exhibits immunomodulatory effect that makes it an ideal dural substitute. Other advantages including easy availability, low cost of procurement, and storage also render it a promising dural substitute especially in low- and middle-income countries. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases, using the search terms "human amniotic membrane," "dural repair," and "neurosurgery." To be eligible for inclusion in our review, papers had to report primary data, be published in English language and report dural repair on humans with human amniotic membrane. Eligibility assessment was conducted by two independent reviewers with qualitative analysis on the basis of surgical utility, postoperative complications, and histological analysis. Results: Eight articles met the predefined inclusion criteria, including three randomized control trials and five cohort studies. We evaluated the use of HAM grafts in dural repair for elective cranial surgery (four studies), trauma surgery (three studies), and elective spine surgery (one study). Cases with postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak were reported by two studies. Other postoperative complications including meningitis, hydrocephalus, pseudomeningocele, CSF collection in subdural space, and subacute subdural hematoma were reported by one study each. Postsurgical histological analysis was reported by three studies highlighting the antiadhesive and integrative properties of HAM. Conclusion: The current review of evidence suggests that in terms of postsurgical outcomes, HAM is comparable with commercially available dural substitutes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA34
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Amnion
  • Dural repair
  • Dural substitute
  • Duraplasty
  • Human amniotic membrane


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