Approaches to the Middle Cerebellar Peduncle for Resection of Pontine Cavernomas:

Operative Neurosurgery 26:468, 2024

INDICATIONS: CORRIDOR AND LIMITS OF EXPOSURE: The expanded retrosigmoid approach with splitting of the horizontal cerebellar fissure provides a more direct and shorter route for central and dorsolateral pontine lesions while minimizing retraction of tracts, nuclei, and cerebellum.1-4

ANATOMIC ESSENTIALS: NEED FOR PREOPERATIVE PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT: The middle cerebellar peduncle is partially covered by the petrosal surface of the cerebellum. The horizontal cerebellar fissure (petrosal fissure) divides the petrosal surface of the cerebellar hemisphere into superior and inferior parts. Splitting the petrosal fissure separates the superior and inferior petrosal surfaces and exposes the posterolateral middle cerebellar peduncle (posterior and lateral to the root entry zone of CN5).1-4

ESSENTIALS STEPS OF THE PROCEDURE: Expanded retrosigmoid craniotomy is performed, including unroofing of the sigmoid sinus; petrosal fissure is split to expose the posterolateral middle cerebellar peduncle; entry point for resection of the cavernoma is identified; nims stimulator stimulator is used to confirm the absence of tracts and nuclei; myelotomy is performed; and cavernoma and its draining vein (but not the developmental venous anomaly) are removed using a combination of traction and countertraction against gliotic plane.

PITFALLS/AVOIDANCE OF COMPLICATIONS: Wide splitting of the horizontal cerebellar fissure minimizes retraction or resection of the cerebellum and offers the best angle of attack. Knowledge of brainstem anatomy and use of intraoperative navigation are critical to avoid complications.

VARIANTS AND INDICATIONS FOR THEIR USE: Far lateral through the middle cerebellar peduncle is a variant that can be used to resect pontine cavernomas if a caudocranial trajectory is preferred.

Minimally invasive keyhole approach for supramaximal frontal glioma resections

J Neurosurg 140:949–957, 2024

The authors aimed to review the frontal lobe’s surgical anatomy, describe their keyhole frontal lobectomy technique, and analyze the surgical results.

METHODS Patients with newly diagnosed frontal gliomas treated using a keyhole approach with supramaximal resection (SMR) from 2016 to 2022 were retrospectively reviewed. Surgeries were performed on patients asleep and awake. A human donor head was dissected to demonstrate the surgical anatomy. Kaplan-Meier curves were used for survival analysis.

RESULTS Of the 790 craniotomies performed during the study period, those in 47 patients met our inclusion criteria. The minimally invasive approach involved four steps: 1) debulking the frontal pole; 2) subpial dissection identifying the sphenoid ridge, olfactory nerve, and optic nerve; 3) medial dissection to expose the falx cerebri and interhemispheric structures; and 4) posterior dissection guided by motor mapping, avoiding crossing the inferior plane defined by the corpus callosum. A fifth step could be added for nondominant lesions by resecting the inferior frontal gyrus. Perioperative complications were recorded in 5 cases (10.6%). The average hospital length of stay was 3.3 days. High-grade gliomas had a median progression-free survival of 14.8 months and overall survival of 23.9 months.

CONCLUSIONS Keyhole approaches enabled successful SMR of frontal gliomas without added risks. Robust anatomical knowledge and meticulous surgical technique are paramount for obtaining successful resections.

Anterior retropharyngeal approach (ARPA) for high cervical spine

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:122

One of the major challenges in operating on the spine lies in taking an anterior approach for the high cervical spine. In patients with a short neck, Klippel-Fiel syndrome or when the C3 vertebra is high in relation to the hyoid bone, it will be difficult to access the C3 body. The transoral route is a highly contaminated zone, and therefore, no instrumentation or grafts can be placed through it.

Method The anterior retropharyngeal approach (ARPA) for the high cervical spine.

Conclusion The anterior retropharyngeal approach is an excellent approach for the high cervical spine where instrumentation is needed. This route provides wide exposure of the C1–C3 region, avoiding the contaminated of the oral cavity.

Lateral‑PLIF for spinal arthrodesis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:123

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) surgery represents an effective option to treat degenerative conditions in the lumbar spine. To reduce the drawbacks of the classical technique, we developed a variant, so-called Lateral-PLIF, which we then evaluated through a prospective consecutive series of patients.

Methods All adult patients treated at our institute with single or double level Lateral-PLIF for lumbar degenerative disease from January to December 2017 were prospectively collected. Exclusion criteria were patients < 18 years of age, traumatic patients, active infection, or malignancy, as well as unavailability of clinical and/or radiological follow-up data. The technique consists of insert the cages bilaterally through the transition zone between the central canal and the intervertebral foramen, just above the lateral recess. Pre- and postoperative (2 years) questionnaires and phone interviews (4 years) assessed pain and functional outcomes. Data related to the surgical procedure, postoperative complications, and radiological findings (1 year) were collected.

Results One hundred four patients were selected for the final analysis. The median age was 58 years and primary symptoms were mechanical back pain (100, 96.1%) and/or radicular pain (73, 70.2%). We found a high fusion rate (95%). A statistically significant improvement in functional outcome was also noted (ODI p < 0.001, Roland-Morris score p < 0.001). Walking distance increased from 812 m ± 543 m to 3443 m ± 712 m (p < 0.001). Complications included dural tear (6.7%), infection/ wound dehiscence (4.8%), and instrument failure (1.9%) but no neurological deterioration.

Conclusions Lateral-PLIF is a safe and effective technique for lumbar interbody fusion and may be considered for further comparative study validation with other techniques before extensive use to treat lumbar degenerative disease.

Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 with syrinx

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:70

In posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 (CM-1), duraplasty methods using various dural substitutes have been reported to improve surgical outcomes and minimize postoperative complications. To obtain sufficient posterior fossa decompression without cerebrospinal fluid-related complications, we developed a novel duraplasty technique using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix. The objective of this study was to describe the operative nuances of duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric CM-1.

Methods We reviewed the clinical and radiographic records of 11 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix followed by expansile cranioplasty for CM-1. The largest area of the syrinx and the size of the posterior fossa were calculated.

Results The maximum syrinx area was reduced by a mean of 68.5% ± 27.3% from preoperatively to postoperatively. Four patients (36.4%) had near-complete syrinx resolution (> 90%, grade III reduction), five (45.5%) had 50% to 90% reduction (grade II), and two (18.2%) had < 50% reduction (grade I). The posterior fossa area in the midsagittal section increased by 8.9% from preoperatively to postoperatively. There were no postoperative complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leakage, pseudomeningocele formation, or infection.

Conclusion Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression is a promising safe and effective surgical technique for pediatric CM-1 with syrinx.

Navigated bedside implantation of external ventricular drains with mobile health guidance

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:76

External ventricular drain (EVD) implantation is one of the fundamental procedures of emergency neurosurgery usually performed freehand at bedside or in the operating room using anatomical landmarks. However, this technique is frequently associated with malpositioning leading to complications or dysfunction. Here, we describe a novel navigated bedside EVD insertion technique, which is evaluated in a clinical case series with the aim of safety, accuracy, and efficiency in neurosurgical emergency settings.

Methods From 2021 to 2022, a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument (Thomale Guide, Christoph Miethke, Potsdam, Germany) was used alongside a battery-powered single-use drill (Phasor Health, Houston, USA) for bedside EVD placement in representative neurosurgical pathologies in emergency situations requiring ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) relief and intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring.

Results In all 12 patients (8 female and 4 male), navigated bedside EVDs were placed around the foramen of Monro at the first ventriculostomy attempt. The most frequent indication was aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mean operating time was 25.8 ± 15.0 min. None of the EVDs had to be revised due to malpositioning or dysfunction. Two EVDs were converted into a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Drainage volume was 41.3 ± 37.1 ml per day in mean. Mean length of stay of an EVD was 6.25 ± 2.8 days. Complications included one postoperative subdural hematoma and cerebrospinal fluid infection, respectively.

Conclusion Combining a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument with a battery-powered drill and an appropriate ventricular catheter may enable and enhance safety, accuracy, and efficiency in bedside EVD implantation in various pathologies of emergency neurosurgery without adding relevant efforts.

The Endoscopic Lateral Transorbital Approach for the Removal of Select Sphenoid Wing and Middle Fossa Meningiomas. Surgical Technique and Short-Term Outcomes

Operative Neurosurgery 26:165–172, 2024

The endoscopic lateral transorbital approach (eLTOA) is a relatively new approach to the skull base that has only recently been applied in vivo in the management of complex skull base pathology. Most meningiomas removed with this approach have been in the spheno-orbital location. We present a series of select purely sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas removed through eLTOA. The objective here was to describe the selection criteria and results of eLTOA for a subset of sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study based on a prospectively maintained database of consecutive cases of eLTOA operated on at our institution by the lead author. The cohort’s clinical and radiographic characteristics and outcome are presented.

RESULTS: Five patients underwent eLTOA to remove 3 sphenoid wing and 2 middle fossa meningiomas. The mean tumor volume was 11.9 cm3 . Gross total resection was achieved in all cases. There were no intraoperative complications. Postoperatively, there was one case of subretinal hemorrhage, which was corrected by open vitrectomy repair, and one case of cerebrospinal fluid leak, which resolved with lumbar drainage. Three patients presented with visual impairment, 1 improved, 1 remained stable, and 1 worsened, but returned to stable after vitrectomy repair. All patients have been free of disease at a median follow-up of 8.9 months.

CONCLUSION: eLTOA provides a direct minimal access corridor to certain well-selected sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas. eLTOA minimizes brain retraction and provides a high rate of gross total resection. Meningiomas appropriately selected based on size, type, and location of dural attachment, and the eLTOA is a safe, rapid, and highly effective procedure with acceptable morbidity.

Far lateral approach for dumbbell‑shaped C1 schwannomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:78

Dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas are rare lesions that involve both intra- and extradural compartments. Because of the intimate relationships these lesions develop with the third and fourth segments of the vertebral artery, surgical removal of these lesions remains a challenge.

Method We describe the key steps of the far lateral approach for dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas with a video illustration. The surgical anatomy is described along with the techniques for protecting the vertebral artery.

Conclusion Dumbbell-shaped C1 schwannomas can be safely removed by using the far lateral approach, surgical anatomy expertise, and intraoperative microvascular Doppler.

Minimally Invasive Approaches for Lumbosacral Plexus Schwannomas

Operative Neurosurgery 26:149–155, 2024

Lumbosacral plexus schwannomas (LSPSs) are benign, slow-growing tumors that arise from the myelin sheath of the lumbar or sacral plexus nerves. Surgery is the treatment of choice for symptomatic LSPSs. Conventional retroperitoneal or transabdominal approaches provide wide exposure of the lesion but are often associated with complications in the abdominal wall, lumbar or sacral plexus, ureter, and intraperitoneal organs. Advances in technology and minimally invasive (MIS) techniques have provided alternative approaches with reliable efficacy compared with traditional open surgery. We describe 3 MIS approaches using tubular retractor systems according to the lesion level.

METHODS: This was a multicenter, retrospective observational cohort study to evaluate the use of MIS tubular approaches for surgical resection of LSPSs. We included 23 lumbar and upper sacral plexus schwannomas. Clinical presentation, spinal level, surgical duration, degree of resection, days of hospitalization, pathological anatomy of the tumor, approach-related surgical difficulties, and outcomes were collected.

RESULTS: The posterior oblique approach was used in 43.5% of the cases, the transpsoas approach in 39.1%, and the transiliac in 17.4%. The mean operative time was 3.3 hours, and the mean hospitalization was 2.5 days. All tumors were WHO grade 1 schwannoma. Postoperative MRI confirms gross total resection in 91.3% of the patients. No patient requires instrumentation. The pros and cons of each approach were summarized.

CONCLUSION: The MIS approaches adapted to the lumbar level may improve surgeons’ comfort allowing a safe resection of retroperitoneal LSPS.

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation under neuromonitoring guidance and general anesthesia for treatment of refractory trigeminal neuralgia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:56

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) for refractory trigeminal neuralgia is usually performed in awake patients to localize the involved trigeminal branches. It is often a painful experience. Here, we present RFT under neuromonitoring guidance and general anesthesia.

Method Stimulation of trigeminal branches at the foramen ovale with the tip of the RFT cannula is performed under short general anesthesia. Antidromic sensory–evoked potentials (aSEP) are recorded from the 3 trigeminal branches. The cannula is repositioned until the desired branch can be stimulated and lesioned.

Conclusion aSEP enable accurate localization of involved trigeminal branches during RFT and allow performing the procedure under general anesthesia.

Preserving the cerebellar hemispheric tentorial bridging veins through a novel tentorial cut technique for supracerebellar approaches

J Neurosurg 140:260–270, 2024

OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to describe the distribution pattern of cerebellar hemispheric tentorial bridging (CHTB) veins on the tentorial surface in a case series of perimedian or paramedian supracerebellar approaches and to describe a novel technique to preserve these veins.

METHODS A series of 141 patients with various pathological processes in different locations was operated on via perimedian or paramedian supracerebellar approaches by the senior author from July 2006 through October 2022 and was retrospectively evaluated. During surgery, the number and locations of all CHTB veins were recorded to establish a distribution map on the tentorial surface, divided into nine zones. Patients were classified into four groups according to the surgical technique used to manage CHTB veins: 1) group 1 consisted of CHTB veins preserved without intervention during surgery or no CHTB veins found in the surgical route; 2) group 2 included CHTB veins coagulated during surgery; 3) group 3 included CHTB veins preserved with arachnoid and/or tentorial dissection from the cerebellar or tentorial surface, respectively; and 4) group 4 comprised CHTB veins preserved using a novel tentorial cut technique.

RESULTS Overall, 141 patients were included in the study. Of these 141 patients, 38 were in group 1 (27%), 32 in group 2 (22.7%), 47 in group 3 (33.3%), and 24 in group 4 (17%). The total number of CHTB veins encountered was 207 during surgeries on one side. According to the distribution zones of the tentorium, zone 5 had the highest density of CHTB veins, while zone 7 had the lowest. Of the patients in group 4, 6 underwent the perimedian supracerebellar approach and 18 had the paramedian supracerebellar approach. There were 39 CHTB veins on the surface of the 24 cerebellar hemispheres in group 4. The tentorial cut technique was performed for 27 of 39 CHTB veins. Twelve veins were not addressed because they did not present any obstacles during approaches. During surgery, no complications were observed due to the tentorial cut technique.

CONCLUSIONS Because there is no way to determine whether a CHTB vein can be sacrificed without complications, it is important to protect these veins in supracerebellar approaches. This new tentorial cut technique in perimedian or paramedian supracerebellar approaches makes it possible to preserve CHTB veins encountered during supracerebellar surgeries.

The Technique for Transorbital Ventricular Puncture: An Anatomic Approach

Operative Neurosurgery 26:64–70, 2024

Transorbital ventricular puncture is a minimally invasive described procedure with poor landmarks and anatomic references. This approach can be easily performed to save patients with intracranial hypertension, especially when it is secondary to an acute decompensated hydrocephalus. This study aims to describe anatomic structures and landmarks to facilitate the execution of transorbital puncture in emergency cases.

METHODS: We analyzed 120 head computed tomographies to show the best area to perform the procedure in the orbital roof. Two adult cadavers (4 sides) were punctured in the predetermined area. Angles, distances, landmarks, and anatomic structures were registered. This approach to the ventricular system may be performed at bedside to relieve intracranial hypertension only in specific cases.

RESULTS: The perforation point is 2.5 cm (female) or 3.0 cm (male) lateral to the midline and immediately inferior to the superciliary arch. A vertical line, parallel to midline, was drawn on the outer edge of the patient’s forehead, the needle was 45°inferiorly and 20°medially and then progressed 2.0 cm backwards to reach the bone perforation point. After that, it was advanced another 4.5cm approximately until it reached the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle.

CONCLUSION: Based on statistical and experimental evidences, we were able to establish reliable anatomic reference points to access the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle through transorbital puncture.


Microsurgical management of midbrain gliomas: surgical results and long-term outcome in a large, single-surgeon, consecutive series

J Neurosurg 140:104–115, 2024

The authors report on a large, consecutive, single-surgeon series of patients undergoing microsurgical removal of midbrain gliomas. Emphasis is put on surgical indications, technique, and results as well as long-term oncological follow-up.

METHODS A retrospective analysis was performed of prospectively collected data from a consecutive series of patients undergoing microneurosurgery for midbrain gliomas from March 2006 through June 2022 at the authors’ institution. According to the growth pattern and location of the lesion in the midbrain (tegmentum, central mesencephalic structures, and tectum), one of the following approaches was chosen: transsylvian (TS), extreme anterior interhemispheric transcallosal (eAIT), posterior interhemispheric transtentorial subsplenial (PITS), paramedian supracerebellar transtentorial (PST), perimedian supracerebellar (PeS), perimedian contralateral supracerebellar (PeCS), and transuvulotonsillar fissure (TUTF). Clinical and radiological data were gathered according to a standard protocol and reported according to common descriptive statistics. The main outcomes were rate of gross-total resection; extent of resection; occurrence of any complications; variation in Karnofsky Performance Status score at discharge, 3 months, and last follow-up; progression-free survival (PFS); and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS Fifty-four patients (28 of them pediatric) met the inclusion criteria (6 with high-grade and 48 with low-grade gliomas [LGGs]). Twenty-two tumors were in the tegmentum, 7 in the central mesencephalic structures, and 25 in the tectum. In no instance did the glioma originate in the cerebral peduncle. TS was performed in 2 patients, eAIT in 6, PITS in 23, PST in 16, PeS in 4, PeCS in 1, and TUTF in 2 patients. Gross-total resection was achieved in 39 patients (72%). The average extent of resection was 98.0% (median 100%, range 82%–100%). There were no deaths due to surgery. Nine patients experienced transient and 2 patients experienced permanent new neurological deficits. At a mean follow-up of 72 months (median 62, range 3–193 months), 49 of the 54 patients were still alive. All patients with LGGs (48/54) were alive with no decrease in their KPS score, whereas 42 showed improvement compared with their preoperative status.

CONCLUSIONS Microneurosurgical removal of midbrain gliomas is feasible with good surgical results and long-term clinical outcomes, particularly in patients with LGGs. As such, microneurosurgery should be considered as the first therapeutic option. Adequate microsurgical technique and anesthesiological management, along with an accurate preoperative understanding of the tumor’s exact topographic origin and growth pattern, is crucial for a good surgical outcome.

Does tumoral cavernous carotid stenosis predict an increased risk of future stroke in skull base meningiomas?

J Neurosurg 139:1613–1618, 2023

Skull base meningiomas (SBMs) involving the cavernous sinus encase the internal carotid artery (ICA) and may lead to stenosis of the vessel. Although ischemic stroke has been reported in the literature, there are to the authors’ knowledge no reported studies quantifying the risk of stroke in these patients. The authors aimed to determine the frequency of arterial stenosis in patients with SBMs that encase the cavernous ICA and to estimate the risk of ischemic stroke in these patients.

METHODS Records of all patients with SBM encasing the ICA whose cases were managed by the skull base multidisciplinary team at Salford Royal Hospital between 2011 and 2017 were reviewed using a two-stage approach: 1) clinical and radiological strokes were identified from electronic patient records, and 2) cases were reviewed to examine the correlation between ICA stenosis associated with SBM encasement and anatomically related stroke. Strokes that were caused by another pathology or did not occur in the perfusion territory were excluded.

RESULTS In the review of patient records the authors identified 118 patients with SBMs encasing the ICA. Of these, 62 SBMs caused stenosis. The median age at diagnosis was 70 (IQR 24) years, and 70% of the patients were female. The median follow-up was 97 (IQR 101) months. A total of 13 strokes were identified in these patients; however, only 1 case of stroke was associated with SBM encasement, which occurred in the perfusion territory of a patient without stenosis. Risk of acute stroke during the follow-up period for the entire cohort was 0.85%.

CONCLUSIONS Acute stroke in patients with ICA encasement by SBMs is rare despite the propensity of these tumors to stenose the ICA. Patients with ICA stenosis secondary to their SBM did not have a higher incidence of stroke than those with ICA encasement without stenosis. The results of this study demonstrate that prophylactic intervention to prevent stroke is not necessary in ICA stenosis secondary to SBM.

International Tuberculum Sellae Meningioma Study: Surgical Outcomes and Management Trends

Neurosurgery 93:1259–1270, 2023

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas (TSMs) can be resected through transcranial (TCA) or expanded endonasal approach (EEA). The objective of this study was to report TSM management trends and outcomes in a large multicenter cohort.

METHODS: This is a 40-site retrospective study using standard statistical methods.

RESULTS: In 947 cases, TCA was used 66.4% and EEA 33.6%. The median maximum diameter was 2.5 cm for TCA and 2.1 cm for EEA (P < .0001). The median follow-up was 26 months. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 70.2% and did not differ between EEA and TCA (P = .5395). Vision was the same or better in 87.5%. Vision improved in 73.0% of EEA patients with preoperative visual deficits compared with 57.1% of TCA patients (P < .0001). On multivariate analysis, a TCA (odds ratio [OR] 1.78, P = .0258) was associated with vision worsening, while GTR was protective (OR 0.37, P < .0001). GTR decreased with increased diameter (OR: 0.80 per cm, P = .0036) and preoperative visual deficits (OR 0.56, P = .0075). Mortality was 0.5%. Complications occurred in 23.9%. New unilateral or bilateral blindness occurred in 3.3% and 0.4%, respectively. The cerebrospinal fluid leak rate was 17.3% for EEA and 2.2% for TCA (OR 9.1, P < .0001). The recurrence rate was 10.9% (n= 103). Longer follow-up (OR 1.01 per month, P < .0001), World Health Organization II/III (OR 2.20, P = .0262), and GTR (OR: 0.33, P < .0001) were associated with recurrence. The recurrence rate after GTR was lower after EEA compared with TCA (OR 0.33, P = .0027).

CONCLUSION: EEA for appropriately selected TSM may lead to better visual outcomes and decreased recurrence rates after GTR, but cerebrospinal fluid leak rates are high, and longer follow-up is needed. Tumors were smaller in the EEA group, and follow-up was shorter, reflecting selection, and observation bias. Nevertheless, EEA may be superior to TCA for appropriately selected TSM.

Scalp Incisions With Stairstep Pericranial Edges to Minimize Sequalae from Poor Wound Healing in Supratentorial Brain Tumor Surgery

Neurosurgery Practice 4:, 2023

Wound healing problems are especially prevalent in craniotomies for intra-axial brain tumors as patients often require radiation, chemotherapy, and chronic steroids. Although newer techniques such as minimally invasive approaches and routine vancomycin powder use have helped overall complication rates, poor skin healing remains a frustratingly persistent cause of morbidity. Therefore, here we describe the novel technique of elevating and closing a stairstep pericranial edge offset from the skin incision to protect hardware and support wound healing, and we report early outcomes using this technique.

METHODS: Ninety-one consecutive patients underwent supratentorial, intra-axial brain tumor surgery with a single surgeon at a single institution using this technique. Patient demographics, pathology, adjuvant interventions, and other independent risk factors were analyzed.

RESULTS: No wound-related complications requiring readmission, intravenous antibiotics, or reoperation were encountered at a median 3-month follow-up. There were also no surgical site infections, dehiscences, or cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Fifty-one patients (57.3%) had postoperative radiotherapy, 85 patients (93.4%) had perioperative steroids, and 56 patients (61.5%) had postoperative chemotherapy. Six patients (6.5%) were placed on a short course of oral antibiotics perioperatively due to concerns with initial scalp healing (ie, excessive scabbing at follow-up), none of whom progressed to infection or required further intervention. These are the cases where this technique is felt to have been most helpful by potentially preventing worse sequelae. One patient developed a shunt infection during this interval that required removal unrelated to the craniotomy site.

CONCLUSION: Here we outline in detail the principles, design, and execution of incisions and closures with stairstep pericranial edges in supratentorial brain surgery. This technique was designed in consultation with plastic surgeons to provide an intact, vascularized layer of pericranium beneath the healing skin and over the bone graft/hardware to optimize wound healing conditions and prevent morbid sequelae in inevitable cases of poor initial healing. Early results are promising.

KEY WORDS: Cerebrospinal fluid leak, Craniotomy, Resection, Surgical site infection, Surgical technique, Woundhealing

Endoscopic Endonasal Transpterygoid Approach

Operative Neurosurgery 25:E272, 2023

INDICATIONS: CORRIDOR AND LIMITS OF EXPOSURE: The endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approach (EETPA) provides direct access to the petrous apex, lateral clivus, inferior cavernous sinus compartment, jugular foramen, and infratemporal fossa. In the coronal plane, it provides exposure far beyond a traditional sphenoidotomy.

ANATOMIC ESSENTIALS: NEED FOR PREOPERATIVE PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT: The pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone forms the junction between the body and greater sphenoid wing before bifurcating because it descends into medial and lateral plates. The key to this exposure lies in the region’s bony foramina: the palatovaginal canal, vidian canal, and foramen rotundum.

ESSENTIALS STEPS OF THE PROCEDURE: After performing a maxillary antrostomy, stepwise exposure of these foramina leads to the pterygopalatine fossa. The sphenopalatine artery is cauterized as it becomes the posterior septal artery at the sphenopalatine foramen, and the maxillary sinus’ posterior wall is opened to expose the pterygopalatine fossa. After mobilizing and retracting the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa, the pterygoid process is removed, improving access in the coronal plane.

PITFALLS/AVOIDANCE OF COMPLICATIONS: Vidian neurectomy causes decreased or absent lacrimation. Injury to the maxillary nerve or its branches results in facial, palatal, or odontogenic anesthesia or neuralgia. In addition, the EEPTA precludes the ability to raise an ipsilateral nasal septal flap, making it crucial to plan reconstruction preoperatively.

VARIANTS AND INDICATIONS FOR THEIR USE: There are 5 variants of the EEPTA: extended pterygopalatine fossa, lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus, petrous apex, infratemporal fossa and petrous carotid artery, and middle and posterior skull base. The patient consented to the procedure.


The sub‑occipital transtentorial approach for pineal region tumors


Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3461–3465

Two major approaches exist for the surgical removal of pineal region tumors: the supracebellar infratentorial and the sub-occipital transtentorial.

Methods We present the Lyon’s technique of the sub-occipital transtentorial approach for pineal region tumors and our tricks to avoid complications. The principle is to expose the pineal region under the occipital lobe and not through the interhemispheric fissure.

Conclusions The sub-occipital transtentorial approach is a direct, extra cerebral, safe, and effective way to access tumors of the pineal region.

Validation of Efficacy and Safety of TachoSil ® Tissue Sealant for Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

Operative Neurosurgery 25:417–425, 2023

Use of TachoSil ® as the transposition material of microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS) and trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is easy and safe to perform, but the efficacy and safety of this technique are unknown. This study attempted to validate the efficacy and safety of TachoSil ® as a transposition material of MVD.

METHODS: A retrospective study of the surgical results and complications of 63 patients (35 HFS and 28 TN) treated by the TachoSil ® technique between January 2011 and December 2021 was conducted. The efficacy of the treatment was evaluated by Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Magnetic resonance imaging follow-up study was performed to detect any adverse events including a mass formation.

RESULTS: The rate of complete disappearance of HFS was 91.4% at 1 year and estimated to be 85.7% after a 10-year followup. The rate of no pain without medication for TN was 85.4% at 1 year and estimated to be 69.0% after a 9-year follow-up. These surgical results are comparable with those previously reported. Flaking of TachoSil ® releasing the offending artery was only recognized in one case (1.6%). Therefore, TachoSil ® can be considered as an effective transposition material for MVD. TachoSil ® did not increase the rate of acute and subacute adverse events such as inflammation and delayed facial palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging follow-up identified no abnormalities including mass that suggested granuloma formation.

CONCLUSION: The efficacy of the TachoSil ® technique for HFS and TN and the reliability of TachoSil ® as an adhesive material in MVD were verified. No adverse events associated with TachoSil ® use in MVD were found. We conclude that the TachoSil ® technique has relatively long efficacy and safety for MVD.

Micro‑Doppler for venous sinus localization in approaches to the cerebello‑pontine angle

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3467–3472

Main anatomical landmarks of retrosigmoid craniotomy are transverse sinus (TS), sigmoid sinus (SS), and the confluence of both. Anatomical references and guidance based on preoperative imaging studies are less reliable in the posterior fossa than in the supratentorial region. Simple intraoperative real-time guidance methods are in demand to increase safety.

Methods This manuscript describes the localization of TS, SS, and TS-SS junction by audio blood flow detection with a micro-Doppler system.

Conclusion This is an additional technique to increase safety during craniotomy and dura opening, widening the surgical corridor to secure margins without carrying risks nor increase surgical time.