Prognostic factors for long-term outcome of patients with surgical resection of skull base chordomas—106 cases review in one institution

Neurosurg Rev (2010) 33:451–456. DOI 10.1007/s10143-010-0273-6

Skull base chordoma are still challenging. Between May 1993 and June 2005, 106 consecutive patients with skull base chordoma underwent surgical removal at Skull Base Division of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, China. Retrospective analysis included medical charts and images.

The age of the patients ranged from 7 to 65 years old, with an average age of 35.6 years. Sixty patients were male; the other 46 were female (1.3:1). Follow up data were available in 79 cases ranging from 10 to 158 months (average 63.9 months) after operation.

The prognostic factors for recurrence and survival were analyzed with Kaplan‐Meier, Cox regression and t‐test. Overall, 1, 3, 5 and 10 years survival rates were 87.2%, 79.4%, 67.6% and 59.5% respectively. One, 3, 5 and 10 year recurrent rates were 19.1%, 34.7%, 52.9% and 88.3%, respectively.

The long term outcome of the skull base chordomas is poor. The previous radiotherapy or surgery, dedifferentiated pathology, and less tumor resection are risk factors for longterm survival and recurrence (p<0.05). Although there is no statistic significant role of tumor adherent to vital structure for outcome (p=0.051), it can not exclude its importance for favorable outcome.

Gender, age, tumor size and staging are not independent risk factors for outcome. Surgical technique leading to radical tumor resection with less morbidity is advocatory and beneficial for patients with skull base chordoma with long term outcome, if the tumor could be exposed and resected completely, the recurrence rate was very low for most benign chordomas.

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