Stereotactic versus endoscopic surgery in periventricular lesions

Acta Neurochir (2011) 153:517–526.DOI 10.1007/s00701-010-0933-x

Endoscopic and stereotactic surgery have gained widespread acceptance as minimally invasive tools for the diagnosis of intracerebral pathologies. We investigated the specific advantages and disadvantages of each technique in the assessment of periventricular lesions.

Method This study included a retrospective series of 70 patients with periventricular lesions. Endoscopic surgery was performed in 17 patients (mean age, 37 years; range, 4 months–78 years) and stereotactic biopsy in 55 patients (mean age, 63 years; range, 23–80 years), including two patients who underwent both procedures.

Results Hydrocephalus was present in 13/17 patients in the endoscopic group (77%) and in 11/55 patients in the stereotactic group (20%). Diagnosis was achieved in all patients in the endoscopic group and in all but one patient in the stereotactic group, in whom histological diagnosis was obtained by endoscopic biopsy during a second operation. In the endoscopic group, additional procedures performed included ventriculostomy (2/17), cyst fenestration (3/17), endoscopic shunt revision (3/17) and placement of Rickham reservoirs or external cerebrospinal fluid drains (6/17). Adverse events occurred in one patient after endoscopy (chronic subdural hematoma) and in two patients after stereotactic surgery (one mild hemiparesis and one transitory paresis of the contralateral leg).

Conclusions Endoscopic and stereotactic surgery have distinct advantages and disadvantages in approaching periventricular lesions. The advantages of endoscopy encompass the possibility to perform additional surgical procedures during the same session (e.g. tumour reduction, third ventriculostomy, fenestration of a cyst). The visual control reduces the hazard of injury to anatomical structures and allows for a better control of bleeding although there is a considerable blind-out in such situations. The advantages of stereotactic surgery include a smaller approach and precise planning of the trajectory. It is usually performed under local anaesthesia. Both methods provide a safe and efficient therapeutic option in periventricular lesions with low surgical-related morbidity.