Petrous bone lesions: surgical implementation and outcomes of extradural subtemporal approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2881–2894

Petrous bone lesions (PBLs) are rare with few reports in the neurosurgical literature. In this study, the authors describe our current technique of extradural subtemporal approach (ESTA). The objective of this study was to evaluate the role and efficacy of ESTA for treatment of the PBLs. To our knowledge, this is the largest reported clinical series of using an ESTA-treated PBLs in which the clinical outcomes were evaluated.

Methods Between 1994 and 2019, 67 patients with PBLs treated by ESTA were retrospectively reviewed. Extent of resection, neurological outcomes, recurrence rate, and surgical complications were evaluated and compared with previous studies. The indications, advantages, limitations, and outcomes of ESTA were analyzed according to pathology.

Results This series included 7 facial nerve schwannomas (10.4%), 16 cholesterol granulomas (23.9%), 16 chordomas (23.9%), 6 chondrosarcomas (9%), 5 trigeminal schwannomas (7.5%), 9 epidermoids/dermoids (13.4%), and 8 other pathologies (11.9%). The most common location of PBLs operated with ESTA was at the petrous apex and rhomboid areas (68.7%). Gross total resection was achieved in 35 (55.6%). Symptomatic improvement occurred in 56 patients (83.6%). Complications occurred in 7 (10.4%) of cases including one mortality. Nine patients (17%) had recurrence within the mean follow-up 71 months. Compared to previous literature, our results demonstrated comparable outcomes but with higher rates of hearing and facial nerve preservation as well as minimal morbidity. From our results, ESTA is an effective therapeutic option for lesions located at the rhomboid and petrous apex, particularly when patients presented with intact facial and hearing function.

Conclusion Our series demonstrated that ESTA provided satisfactory outcomes with excellent benefits of hearing and facial function preservation for patients with petrous bone lesions. ESTA should be considered as a safe and effective therapeutic option for selected patients with PBLs.

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