Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Endoscopic versus microscopic microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 126:1676–1684, 2017

Endoscopic surgery has revolutionized surgery of the ventral skull base but has not yet been widely adopted for use in the cerebellopontine angle. Given the relatively normal anatomy of the cerebellopontine angle in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN), the authors hypothesized that a fully endoscopic microvascular decompression (E-MVD) might provide pain outcomes equivalent to those of microscopic MVD (M-MVD) but with fewer complications.

METHODS The authors conducted a single-institution, single-surgeon retrospective study with patients treated in the period of 2006–2013. Before surgery, all patients completed a questionnaire that included a validated multidimensional pain-outcome tool, the Penn Facial Pain Scale (PFPS, formerly known as Brief Pain Inventory–Facial), an 11-point scale that measures pain intensity, interference with general activities of daily living (ADLs), and facial-specific ADLs. Using a standardized script, independent research assistants conducted follow-up telephone interviews.

RESULTS In total, 167 patients were available for follow-ups (66.5% female; 93 patients underwent M-MVD and 74 underwent E-MVD). Preoperative characteristics (i.e., TN classification, PFPS components, and medication use) were similar for the 2 surgical groups except for 2 variables. Patients in the M-MVD group had slightly higher incidence of V3 pain, and the 2 groups differed in the date of surgery and hence in the length of follow-up (2.4 years for the M-MVD group and 1.3 years for the E-MVD group, p < 0.05). There was a trend toward not finding neurovascular conflict at the time of surgery more frequently in the M-MVD than in the E-MVD group (11% vs 7%, p = 0.052). Internal neurolysis was more often performed in the E-MVD group (26% vs 7%, p = 0.001). The 2 groups did not significantly differ in the length of the MVD procedure (approximately 2 hours). Self-reported headaches at 1 month postoperatively were present in 21% of the patients in the M-MVD group versus 7% in the E-MVD group (p = 0.01). Pain outcomes at the most recent followup were equivalent, with patients reporting a 5- to 6-point (70%–80%) improvement in pain intensity, a 5-point (85%) improvement in pain interference with ADLs, and a 6-point (85%) improvement in interference with facial-specific ADLs. Actuarial freedom from pain recurrence was equivalent in the 2 groups, with 80% pain control at 3 years.

CONCLUSIONS Both the fully endoscopic MVD and the conventional M-MVD appear to provide patients with equivalent pain outcomes. Complication rates were also similar between the groups, with the exception of the rate of headaches, which was significantly lower in the E-MVD group 1 month postoperatively.

Fluorescein-Guided Neuroendoscopy for Intraventricular Lesions

Operative Neurosurgery 13:173–181, 2017

The benefits of neuroendoscopy in the pathological diagnosis of intraand paraventricular tumors have already been shown in many neurosurgical studies. However, most authors agree that neuroendoscopic biopsies are not infrequently inconclusive due to small or inadequate samples, prompting the need for new diagnostic strategies.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a technique not previously reported in the literature, combining neuroendoscopy with angiofluorescein guidance for the pathological diagnosis of intraand paraventricular tumors.

METHODS: The 4-mm steerable fiberscope used was equipped with dual observation modes for white light and fluorescein. Access was by the classical precoronal burr hole. After inspecting the ventricular system in white light, a 10-mg/kg dose of fluorescein sodium (FS) was administered intravenously to the patient. The endoscope was then switched to the blue light fluorescent mode to better localize the pathological tissue. The protocol had been submitted to the local ethics committee.

RESULTS: From September 2011 to March 2015, 9 consecutive patients (aged 1-56 yr) harboring intra- and paraventricular lesions prospectively underwent angiofluoresceinguided endoscopy. In all cases, a pathological diagnosis was obtained without complications. In 5 patients, an endoscopic third ventriculostomy, and, in 1 patient, a septostomy was performed during the same procedure. Fluorescein guidance definitely modified our site of biopsy in 4 cases.

CONCLUSION: In our experience, FS has proven to be a strong enhancer of all ventricular lesions presentingwith a disrupted blood–brain barrier, including inflammatory processes. Fluorescein-guided neuroendoscopy appears to be a safe, economic method to improve diagnostic potential in ventricular lesions.

Craniotomy for perisellar meningiomas: comparison of simple (appropriate for endoscopic approach) versus complex anatomy and surgical outcomes

J Neurosurg 126:1191–1200, 2017

Microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas has remained the gold standard for treatment, with extended endoscopic endonasal surgery emerging as a viable alternative. Historical microsurgical series do not distinguish based on tumor anatomy, but are being used as a comparison against endonasal surgery. In this study, the authors retrospectively reviewed and compared the anatomy of perisellar meningiomas seen at their institution. The tumors were separated into 2 groups based on whether they would be appropriate for endoscopic resection, and the authors compared the surgical outcomes.

METHODS Between 2001 and 2013, 53 patients (73.6% women) with perisellar meningiomas underwent open microsurgical resection at Vancouver General Hospital performed by the senior author (R.A.). These tumors were separated into 2 groups based on their anatomy, and the authors analyzed the resection rates, surgical results, patient quality of life, and complications.

RESULTS Among the 53 patients who presented with perisellar meningiomas, the authors were able to identify 18 lesions with “simple” anatomy suitable for endoscopic resection and 35 lesions with “complex” anatomy suitable for craniotomy resection. The mean age of patients in the study cohort was 57.4 years (range 33–91 years), and most patients presented with visual loss (68.0%) and visual field restriction (64.2%). There were no major differences in patient demographic data between the 2 groups. Patients with simple anatomy had smaller lesions (2.1 vs 3.5 cm; p = 0.004), no optic canal invasion (89% vs 26%; p < 0.0001), minimal vascular encasement (cortical cuff 83% vs 9%; p < 0.0001), and a rounded tumor shape (100% vs 31.8%; p = 0.0001) when compared with those with complex anatomy. The majority of lesions originated from the tuberculum sellae and planum sphenoidale. A greater degree of resection was achieved in the favorable anatomy group (99% vs 87.1%; p < 0.0001). Vision was improved or normalized in 96.6% of patients. Patients in the cohort with complex anatomy had more transient complications; there were no incidents of surgical-site infection, meningitis, or death in this series. One patient who underwent removal of a recurrent lesion experienced a CSF leak that required endoscopic repair. The overall persisting complications rate was higher in the group with complex anatomy (11.1% vs 37.1%; p = 0.0498); overall, 28.3% of patients experienced disabling complications. Patient-perceived quality of life improved in the simple anatomy group following surgery (DSF-36 +16.6 vs -8.4; p = 0.0045).

CONCLUSIONS Extended endoscopic surgery is emerging as a viable alternative to microsurgical resection of perisellar meningiomas. The authors identified 2 patient groups based on tumor anatomy, with distinctly separate surgical outcomes. In the future, patients considered for endoscopic resection should be compared against the surgical group with simple anatomy that includes smaller tumors, no vascular encasement, and limited optic canal invasion.



The mononostril endonasal transethmoidal-paraseptal approach

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:453–457

The use of endoscopes in transnasal surgery offers increased visualization. To minimize rhinological morbidity without restriction in manipulation, we introduced the mononostril transethmoidal-paraseptal approach.

Methods The aim of the transethmoidal-paraseptal approach is to create sufficient space within the nasal cavity, without removal of nasal turbinates and septum. Therefore, as a first step, a partial ethmoidectomy is performed. The middle and superior turbinates are then lateralized into the ethmoidal space, allowing a wide sphenoidotomy with exposure of the central skull base.

Conclusions This minimally invasive transethmoidal-paraseptal approach is a feasible alternative to traumatic transnasal concepts with middle turbinate and extended septal resection.

Outcomes in craniotomy vs endoscopic craniopharyngioma resection

Neurosurg Focus 41 (6):E6, 2016

Craniopharyngiomas have historically been resected via transcranial microsurgery (TCM). In the last 2 decades, the extended endoscopic endonasal (transtuberculum) approach to these tumors has become more widely accepted, yet there remains controversy over which approach leads to better outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences in outcomes were identified between TCM and extended endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEEAs) in adult patients undergoing primary resection of suprasellar craniopharyngiomas at a single institution.

Methods A retrospective review of all patients who underwent resection of their histopathologically confirmed craniopharyngiomas at the authors’ institution between 2005 and 2015 was performed. Pediatric patients, revision cases, and patients with tumors greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean volume were excluded. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those undergoing primary TCM and those undergoing a primary EEEA. Preoperative patient demographics, presenting symptoms, and preoperative tumor volumes were determined. Extent of resection, tumor histological subtype, postoperative complications, and additional outcome data were obtained. Statistical significance between variables was determined utilizing Student t-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests when applicable.

Results After exclusions, 21 patients satisfied the aforementioned inclusion criteria, 12 underwent TCM for resection while 9 benefitted from the EEEA. There were no significant differences in patient demographics, presenting symptoms, tumor subtype, or preoperative tumor volumes, no tumors had significant lateral or prechiasmatic extension. The extent of resection was similar between these 2 groups, as was the necessity for additional surgery or adjuvant therapy. CSF leakage was encountered only in the EEEA group (2 patients). Importantly, the rate of postoperative visual improvement was significantly higher in the EEEA group than in the TCM group (88.9% vs 25.0%, p = 0.0075). Postoperative visual deterioration only occurred in the TCM group (3 patients). Recurrence was uncommon, with similar rates between the groups. Other complication rates, overall complication risk, and additional outcome measures were similar between these groups as well.

Conclusions Based on this study, most outcome variables appear to be similar between TCM and EEEA routes for similarly sized tumors in adults. The multidisciplinary EEEA to craniopharyngioma resection represents a safe and compelling alternative to TCM. The authors’ data demonstrate that postoperative visual improvement is statistically more likely in the EEEA despite the increased risk of CSF leakage. These results add to the growing evidence that the EEEA may be considered the approach of choice for resection of select confined primary craniopharyngiomas without significant lateral extension in centers with experienced surgeons. Further prospective, multiinstitutional collaboration is needed to power studies capable of fully evaluating indications and appropriate approaches for craniopharyngiomas.

Microscopic versus endoscopic approaches for craniopharyngiomas


Neurosurg Focus 41 (6):E5, 2016

Resection remains the mainstay of treatment for craniopharyngiomas with the goal of radical resection, if safely possible, to minimize the rate of recurrence. Endoscopic endonasal and microscopic transcranial surgical approaches have both become standard methods for the treatment for craniopharyngiomas. However, the approach selection paradigm for craniopharyngiomas is still a point of discussion. Choosing the optimal surgical approach can play a significant role in maximizing the extent of resection and surgical outcome while minimizing the risks of potential complications.

Craniopharyngiomas can present with a variety of different sizes, locations, and tumor consistencies, and each individual tumor has distinct features that favor one specific approach over another.

The authors review standard cranial base techniques applied to craniopharyngioma surgery, using both the endoscopic endonasal approach and traditional open microsurgical approaches, and analyze factors involved in approach selection. They discuss their philosophy of approach selection based on the location and extent of the tumor on preoperative imaging as well as the advantages and limitations of each surgical corridor, and they describe the operative nuances of each technique, using a personalized, tailored approach to the individual patient with illustrative cases and videos.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for treatment of adult hydrocephalus: long-term follow-up of 163 patients


Neurosurg Focus 41 (3):E3, 2016

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV in Calgary, Canada, over a span of 20 years (1994–2014). Patients were dichotomized into a primary or secondary ETV cohort based on whether ETV was the initial treatment modality for the hydrocephalus or if other CSF diversion procedures had been previously attempted respectively. Primary outcomes were subjective patient-reported clinical improvement within 12 weeks of surgery and the need for any CSF diversion procedures after the initial ETV during the span of the study. Categorical and actuarial data analysis was done to compare the outcomes of the primary versus secondary ETV cohorts.

Results A total of 163 adult patients with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV were identified and followed over an average of 98.6 months (range 0.1–230.4 months). All patients presented with signs of intracranial hypertension or other neurological symptoms. The primary ETV group consisted of 112 patients, and the secondary ETV consisted of 51 patients who presented with failed ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts. After the initial ETV procedure, clinical improvement was reported more frequently by patients in the primary cohort (87%) relative to those in the secondary ETV cohort (65%, p = 0.001). Additionally, patients in the primary ETV group required fewer reoperations (p < 0.001), with cumulative ETV survival time favoring this primary ETV cohort over the course of the follow-up period (p < 0.001). Fifteen patients required repeat ETV, with all but one experiencing successful relief of symptoms. Patients in the secondary ETV cohort also had a higher incidence of complications, with one occurring in 8 patients (16%) compared with 2 in the primary ETV group (2%; p = 0.010), although most complications were minor.

Conclusions ETV is an effective long-term treatment for selected adult patients with hydrocephalus. The overall ETV success rate when it was the primary treatment modality for adult hydrocephalus was approximately 87%, and 99% of patients experience symptomatic improvement after 2 ETVs. Patients in whom VP shunt surgery fails prior to an ETV have a 22% relative risk of ETV failure and an almost eightfold complication rate, although mostly minor, when compared with patients who undergo a primary ETV. Most ETV failures occur within the first 7 months of surgery in patients treated with primary ETV, but the time to failure is more prolonged in patients who present with failed previous shunts.

Neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting in adults


J Neurosurg 125:576–584, 2016

Since its revival in the early 1990s, neuroendoscopy has become an integral component of modern neurosurgery. Endoscopic stent placement for treatment of CSF pathway obstruction is a rarely used and underestimated procedure. The authors present the first series of neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting for CSF pathway obstruction in adults with associated results and complications spanning a long-term follow-up of 20 years.

Methods The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively maintained clinical database for endoscopic stent placement performed in adults between 1993 and 2013.

Results Of 526 endoscopic intraventricular procedures, stents were placed for treatment of CSF disorders in 25 cases (4.8%). The technique was used in the management of arachnoid cysts (ACs; n = 8), tumor-related CSF disorders (n = 13), and hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the foramen of Monro (n = 2) or aqueduct (n = 2). The mean follow-up was 87.1 months. No deaths or infections occurred that were related to endoscopic placement of intracranial stents. Late stent dislocation or migration was observed in 3 patients (12%).

Conclusions Endoscopic intracranial stent placement in adults is rarely required but is a safe and helpful technique in select cases. It is indicated when reliable and long-lasting restoration of CSF pathway obstructions cannot be achieved with standard endoscopic techniques. In the treatment of tumor-related hydrocephalus, it is a good option to avoid reclosure of the restored CSF pathway by tumor growth. Currently, routine stent placement after endoscopic fenestration of ACs is not recommended. Stent placement for treatment of CSF disorders due to tumor is a good option for avoiding CSF shunting. To avoid stent migration and dislocation, and to allow for easy removal if needed, the device should be fixed to a bur hole reservoir.

Endoscopic endonasal anatomy of the ophthalmic artery in the optic canal

Endoscopic endonasal anatomy of the ophthalmic artery in the optic canal

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1343–1350

The endoscopic endonasal opening of the optic canal has been recently proposed for tumors with medial invasion of this canal, such as tuberculum sellae meningiomas. Injury of the ophthalmic artery represents a dramatic risk during this maneuver. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the endoscopic endonasal anatomy of the precanalicular and canalicular portion of this vessel, discussing its clinical implication.

Methods The course of the ophthalmic artery was analyzed through five endoscopic endonasal dissections, and 40 nonpathological consecutive MRAs were reviewed.

Results The ophthalmic artery arises from the intradural portion of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery, in 93%of cases about 1.9 mm (range: 1–3) posterior to the falciform ligament. At the entrance into the optic canal, the ophthalmic artery is located infero-medially to the optic nerve in 13 % of cases. In 50 % of these cases the artery moves infero-laterally along its course, remaining in a medial position in the others. In cases with an non medial entrance of the ophthalmic artery, it runs infero-lateral to the optic nerve for its entire canalicular portion, with just one exception.

Conclusion The endoscopic endonasal approach gives a direct, extensive and panoramic view of the course of the precanalicular and canalicular portion of the ophthalmic artery. Dedicated high-field neuroimaging studies are of paramount importance in preoperative planning to evaluate the anatomy of the ophthalmic artery, reducing the risk of jeopardizing the vessel, particularly for those uncommon cases with an infero-medial course of the artery.

Endo ICG videoangiography: localizing the carotid artery in skull-base endonasal approaches

Endo ICG videoangiography- localizing the carotid artery in skull-base endonasal approaches

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1351–1353

In this work, the applicability of ICG-VA to skull base endoscopic surgery and its capacity to locate the internal carotid artery are shown.

Methods: An adapted optical module to perform ICG-VA was used to perform endoscopic procedures. There were two intraoperative phases of interest that were used to evaluate the ICA: upon exposure of the skull base and during the intradural exploration.

This new tool for obtaining ICA images in real time (as opposed to with navigation), and it is demonstrated that this tool provides a superior ability to detect the margins of the ICA compared with the Doppler technique. On the other hand, the present technique also provides enhancement of the artery through the bone of the skull base without the need for drilling.

Conclusions: ICG-VA is a safe and effective technique for locating the ICA in skull-base expanded endonasal surgery. Furthermore, this technique can provide real-time guidance for the surgeon and increase safety for the patient.

Comparative analysis of outcomes following craniotomy and expanded endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal resection of craniopharyngioma and related tumors

Endoscopic endonasal surgery for craniopharyngiomas

J Neurosurg 124:627–638, 2016

Craniopharyngiomas and similar midline suprasellar tumors have traditionally been resected via transcranial approaches. More recently, expanded endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approaches have gained interest. Surgeons have advocated for both approaches, and at present there is no consensus whether one approach is superior to the other. The authors therefore compared surgical outcomes between craniotomy and endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for suprasellar tumors treated at their institution.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing resection of suprasellar lesions at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center between 2000 and 2013 was performed. Patients harboring suspected craniopharyngioma were selected for extensive review. Other pathologies or predominantly intrasellar masses were excluded. Cases were separated into 2 groups, based on the surgical approach taken. One group underwent EETS and the other cohort underwent craniotomy. Patient demographic data, presenting symptoms, and previous therapies were tabulated. Preoperative and postoperative tumor volume was calculated for each case based on MRI. Student t-test and the chi-square test were used to evaluate differences in patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and outcomes between the 2 cohorts. To assess for selection bias, 3 neurosurgeons who did not perform the surgeries reviewed the preoperative imaging studies and clinical data for each patient in blinded fashion and indicated his/her preferred approach. These data were subject to concordance analysis using Cohen’s kappa test to determine if factors other than surgeon preference influenced the choice of surgical approach.

Results: Complete data were available for 53 surgeries; 19 cases were treated via EETS, and 34 were treated via craniotomy. Patient demographic data, preoperative symptoms, and tumor characteristics were similar between the 2 cohorts, except that fewer operations for recurrent tumor were observed in the craniotomy cohort compared with EETS (17.6% vs 42.1%, p = 0.05). The extent of resection was similar between the 2 groups (85.6% EETS vs 90.7% craniotomy, p = 0.77). An increased rate of cranial nerve injury was noted in the craniotomy group (0% EETS vs 23.5% craniotomy, p = 0.04). Postoperative CSF leak rate was higher in the EETS group (26.3% EETS vs 0% craniotomy, p = 0.004). The progression-free survival curves (log-rank p = 0.99) and recurrence rates (21.1% EETS vs 23.5% craniotomy, p = 1.00) were similar between the 2 groups. Concordance analysis of cases reviewed by 3 neurosurgeons indicated that individual surgeon preference was the only factor that determined surgical approach (kappa coefficient -0.039, p = 0.762)

Conclusions: Surgical outcomes were similar for tumors resected via craniotomy or EETS, except that more CSF leaks occurred in the EETS cohort, whereas more neurological injuries occurred in the craniotomy cohort. Surgical approach appears to mostly reflect surgeon preference rather than specific tumor characteristics. These data support the view that EETS is a viable alternative to craniotomy, providing a similar extent of resection with less neurological injury.

Endoscopic versus microscopic surgery using a port retractor

Comparison of endoscope- versus microscope-assisted resection of deep-seated intracranial lesions using a minimally invasive port retractor system

J Neurosurg 124:799–810, 2016

Tubular brain retractors may improve access to deep-seated brain lesions while potentially reducing the risks of collateral neurological injury associated with standard microsurgical approaches. Here, microscope-assisted resection of lesions using tubular retractors is assessed to determine if it is superior to endoscope-assisted surgery due to the technological advancements associated with modern tubular ports and surgical microscopes.

Methods Following institutional approval of the tubular port, data obtained from the initial 20 patients to undergo transportal resection of deep-seated brain lesions were analyzed in this study. The pathological entities of the resected tissues included metastatic tumors (8 patients), glioma (7), meningioma (1), neurocytoma (1), radiation necrosis (1), primitive neuroectodermal tumor (1), and hemangioblastoma (1). Surgery incorporated endoscopic (5 patients) or microscopic (15) assistance. The locations included the basal ganglia (11 patients), cerebellum (4), frontal lobe (2), temporal lobe (2), and parietal lobe (1). Cases were reviewed for neurological outcomes, extent of resection (EOR), and complications. Technical data for the port, surgical microscope, and endoscope were analyzed.

Results EOR was considered total in 14 (70%), near total (> 95%) in 4 (20%), and subtotal (< 90%) in 2 (10%) of 20 patients. Incomplete resection was associated with the basal ganglia location (p < 0.05) and use of the endoscope (p < 0.002). Four of 5 (80%) endoscope-assisted cases were near-total (2) or subtotal (2) resection. Histopathological diagnosis, presenting neurological symptoms, and demographics were not associated with EOR. Complication rates were low and similar between groups.

Conclusions Initial experience with tubular retractors favors use of the microscope rather than the endoscope due to a wider and 3D field of view. Improved microscope optics and tubular retractor design allows for binocular vision with improved lighting for the resection of deep-seated brain lesions.

Comparison of outcomes between a less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic technique and a very experienced surgeon using a microscopic transsphenoidal technique for pituitary adenoma

Intraoperative high-field MRI for transsphenoidal reoperations of nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma

J Neurosurg 124:596–604, 2016

The comparative efficacy of microscopic and fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas has not been well studied despite the adoption of fully endoscopic surgery by many pituitary centers. The influence of surgeon experience has also not been examined in this setting. The authors therefore compared the extent of tumor resection (EOR) and the endocrine outcomes of 1 very experienced surgeon performing a microscopic transsphenoidal surgery technique with those of a less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery technique for resection of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas in a concurrent series of patients.

Methods Post hoc analysis was conducted of a cohort of adult patients prospectively enrolled in a pituitary adenoma quality-of-life study between October 2011 and June 2014. Patients were followed up for 6 months after surgery. Patients were treated either by a less experienced surgeon (100 independent cases) who practices fully endoscopic surgery exclusively or by a very experienced surgeon (1800 independent cases) who practices microscopic surgery exclusively. Patient demographic characteristics, tumor characteristics, hypopituitarism, complications, and length of hospital stay were analyzed. Tumor volumes and EOR were determined by formal volumetric analysis involving manual segmentation of MR images performed before surgery and within 6 months after surgery. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors of EOR.

Results Fifty-five patients underwent fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, and 80 patients underwent fully microscopic transsphenoidal surgery. The baseline characteristics of the 2 treatment groups were well matched. EOR was similar between the endoscopic and microscopic groups, respectively, as estimated by gross-total resection rate (78.2% vs 81.3%, p = 0.67), percentage of tumor resected (99.2% vs 98.7%, p = 0.42), and volume of residual tumor (0.12 cm3 vs 0.20 cm3, p = 0.41). Multivariate modeling suggested that preoperative tumor volume was the most important predictor of EOR (p = 0.001). No difference was found in the development of anterior gland dysfunction (p > 0.14), but there was a higher incidence of permanent posterior gland dysfunction in the microscopic group (p = 0.04). Combined rates of major complications and unplanned readmissions were lower in the endoscopic group (p = 0.02), but individual complications were not significantly different.

Conclusions A less experienced surgeon using a fully endoscopic technique was able to achieve outcomes similar to those of a very experienced surgeon using a microscopic technique in a cohort of patients with nonfunctioning tumors smaller than 60 cm3. The study raises the provocative notion that certain advantages afforded by the fully endoscopic technique may impact the learning curve in pituitary surgery for nonfunctioning adenomas.

Full endoscopic endonasal transsellar-transclival approach: the modularity concept

Full endoscopic endonasal transsellar-transclival approach- the modularity concept

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:437–439

Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) constitute a reasonable option for the treatment of lesions that involve the sellar and clival regions.

Methods We describe, step by step, the full EEA expanded to the middle and lower clivus for the treatment of perisellar lesions. Delimiting different modules around the sellar region is useful in establishing the best endoscopic approach for each tumor.

A craniopharyngioma (CP) with clival extension will be used as an illustrative example of the modularity concept of these approaches.

Conclusions Transsellar-transclival EEA allows complete resection of lesions located in the sellar and infrasellar region with a low rate of complications.

Outcome of Transsphenoidal Surgery for Cushing Disease

Cushing's disease

Neurosurgery 78:216–223, 2016

Transsphenoidal surgery is the standard approach for treating Cushing disease. Evidence is needed to document effectiveness.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze results of transsphenoidal surgery in 276 consecutive patients, including 19 children.

METHODS: Medical records were reviewed for patients treated initially with surgery for Cushing disease from 1980 to 2012. Radiographic features, pathology, remissions, recurrences, and complications were recorded. Patients were categorized for statistical analysis based on tumor size (microadenomas, macroadenomas, and negative imaging) and remission type (type 1 = morning cortisol ≤3 mg/dL; type 2 = morning cortisol normal).

RESULTS: Females comprised 78% of patients and were older than men. Imaging showed 50% microadenomas, 13% macroadenomas, and 37% negative for tumor. Remission rates for microadenomas, macroadenomas, and negative imaging were 89%, 66%, and 71%, respectively. Patients with microadenomas were more likely to have type 1 remission. Pathology showed adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting adenomas in 82% of microadenomas, in 100% of macroadenomas, and in 43% of negative imaging. The incidence of hyperplasia was 8%. The finding of hyperplasia or no tumor on pathology predicted treatment failure. The recurrence rate was 17%, with an average time to recurrence of 4.0 years. Patients with type 1 remission had a lower rate of recurrence (13% type 1 vs 50% type 2) and a longer time to recurrence. Children had similar imaging findings, remission rates, and pathology. There were no operative deaths.

CONCLUSION: Transsphenoidal surgery provides a safe and effective treatment for Cushing disease. For both adults and children, the best outcomes occurred in patients with microadenomas and/or those with type 1 remission.

Morphometric analysis of the medial opticocarotid recess and its anatomical relations relevant to the transsphenoidal endoscopic endonasal approaches

Morphometric analysis of the medial opticocarotid recess

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:319–324

The medial opticocarotid recess (MOCR) is located in the posterior wall of the sphenoid sinus, medial to the junction of the optic canal (OC) and the carotid prominence (CP). There is controversy in the literature in relation to the presence of the MOCR and its constancy, which is relevant when approaching the skull base through an endoscopic route.

Methods The morphometric relations of the MOCR with the surrounding structures were studied in 18 cadaveric specimens after endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA).

Results The distance between both MOCR was 11.06± 1.14 mm; the distance between the MOCR and the lateral opticocarotid (LOCR) recess was 5.56 ± 0.85 mm; the distance between the MOCR and the suprasellar recess was 3.72±0.49 mm; the angle between the MOCR plane and the OC 13.32±2.30°; the angle between the MOCR plane and the CP 13.50±2.68° and; the angle between the OC and the CP 26.81±4.26°. All measurements showed low variability, with low standard deviation and interquartile range. No relations were found between any of the measurements.

Conclusions The MOCR may be used as a reference point for precise location of structures during EEA. Objective measurements may be especially useful in cases with distorted sphenoid bone anatomy.

Pure endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for functional pituitary adenomas: outcomes with Cushing’s disease

Cushing's disease

This study was performed to examine patient outcomes following pure endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETS) for Cushing’s disease (CD).

Method We studied 64 consecutive patients who underwent 69 endoscopic transsphenoidal procedures. Radiological evaluation comprised detailed examination of preoperative magnetic resonance images (MRI), including positron emission tomography (PET) for select cases. Inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) was not performed for any patient. Remission was defined by the presence of hypocortisolemia with requirement for steroid replacement therapy or eucortisolemia with suppression to <1.8 μg/dl after 1 mg dexamethasone on evaluation at least 3 months after surgery.

Results Preoperative MRI was abnormal in 87.5 % of cases and included 11 macroadenomas (17.2 %). PET was used to localize the adenoma in four cases. For microadenomas, operative procedures executed were as follows: selective adenomectomy (n=15), enlarged adenomectomy (n=21) and subtotal/hemihypophysectomy (n=17). Overall, pathological confirmation of an adenoma was possible in 58 patients (90.6 %). Forty-nine patients (76.6 %) developed hypocortisolemia (<5 μg/dl) in the early postoperative period. Mean follow-up was 20 months (range 6–18 months). Remission was confirmed in 79.7 % of the 59 cases followed up for >3 months and was superior for microadenomas (86.4 %) versus macroadenomas (55.6 %) and equivocal MRI adenomas (66.7 %). Postoperative CSF rhinorrhea occurred in five patients, and new endocrine deficits were noted in 17.1 % patients. A nadir postoperative cortisol <2 μg/dl in the 1st week after surgery was highly predictive of remission (p=0.001).

Conclusion ETS allows for enhanced intrasellar identification of adenomatous tissue, providing remission rates that are comparable to traditional microsurgery for CD. The best predictor of remission remains induction of profound hypocortisolemia in the early postoperative period.

Application of endoscopic ultrasonography to intraventricular lesions

Application of endoscopic ultrasonography to intraventricular lesions

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:87–92

Anatomical landmarks such as choroid plexus and foramen of Monro are very important to undergo intraventricular surgery safely and effectually. These landmarks would be unclear in cases with a huge cyst or repeat surgery. We report the usability and precautions to apply a bronchoscope with an ultrasonic convex probe to intraventricular surgery.

Methods Two patients diagnosed with obstructive hydrocephalus, one with a large cyst and the other with recurrent craniopharyngioma in the third ventricle, were applied to the EBUS system.

Results In both patients, the EBUS system was applied safely, and lesions beyond the wall of ventricles or the cyst were visible. Color Doppler ultrasonography detected choroid plexus and internal cerebral veins. Furthermore, we performed real-time ultrasound-guided cyst puncture safely on the case with a large cyst. The most important precaution is that the curved portion of the EBUS system is too long to be bent within cerebral ventricles.

Conclusions The new EBUS system with an ultrasonic convex probe is a novel and effectual device to perform intraventricular surgery.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 78:109–119, 2016

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has been used predominantly in the pediatric population in the past. Application in the adult population has been less extensive, even in large neurosurgical centers. To our knowledge, this report is one of the largest adult ETV series reported and has the consistency of being performed at 1 center.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy, safety, and outcome of ETV in a large adult hydrocephalus patient series at a single neurosurgical center. In addition, to analyze patient selection criteria and clinical subgroups (including those with ventriculoperitoneal shunt [VPS] malfunction or obstruction and neurointensive care unit patients with extended ventricular drainage before ETV) to optimize surgical results in the future.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of adult ETV procedures performed at our center between 2000 and 2014.

RESULTS: The overall rate of success (no further cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure performed plus clinical improvement) of 243 completed ETVs was 72.8%. Following is the number of procedures with the success rate in parentheses: aqueduct stenosis, 56 (91%); communicating hydrocephalus including normal pressure hydrocephalus, nonnormal pressure hydrocephalus, and remote head trauma, 57 (43.8%); communicating hydrocephalus in postoperative posterior fossa tumor without residual tumor, 14 (85.7%); communicating hydrocephalus in subarachnoid hemorrhage without intraventricular hemorrhage, 23 (69.6%); obstruction from tumor/cyst, 42 (85.7%); VPS obstruction (diagnosis unknown), 23 (65.2%); intraventricular hemorrhage, 20 (90%); and miscellaneous (obstructive), 8 (50%). There were 9 complications in 250 intended procedures (3.6%); 5 (2%) were serious.

CONCLUSION: Use of ETV in adult hydrocephalus has broad application with a low complication rate and reasonably good efficacy in selected patients.

Avoidance and management of perioperative complications of endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Usefulness of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Ventriculography During Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

J Neurosurg 123:1414–1419, 2015

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is a minimally invasive procedure, serious perioperative complications may occur due to the unique surgical maneuvers involved. In this paper the authors report the complications of elective and emergency ETV and their surgical management in 412 patients from July 2006 to October 2012 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (a government hospital) and other private hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The authors attempted some previously undescribed simple maneuvers that may help to overcome the difficulties of managing complications.

METHODS The complication rate was determined by recording intraoperative changes in pulse and blood pressure, bleeding episodes, serum electrolyte abnormalities, CSF leakage, and neurological deterioration in the immediate postoperative period.

RESULTS Intraoperative complications included hemodynamic alterations in the form of tachycardia, bradycardia, and hypertension. Bleeding was categorized as major in 2 cases and minor in 68 cases. Delayed recovery from anesthesia occurred in 14 cases, CSF leakage from the wound in 11 cases, and electrolyte imbalance in 5 cases. Postoperatively, 2 patients suffered convulsions and 1 had evidence of third cranial nerve injury. Three patients died as a result of complications.

CONCLUSIONS Complications during endoscopy can lead to serious consequences that may sometimes be very difficult to manage. The authors have identified and managed a large number of complications in this series, although the rate of complications is consistent with that in other reported series. These complications should be kept in mind perioperatively by both surgeons and anesthesiologists, as prompt detection and action can help minimize the risks associated with neuroendoscopic procedures.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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