Endoscopic treatment of third ventricular colloid cysts

Neurosurg Rev (2009) 32:395–402. DOI 10.1007/s10143-009-0208-2

The surgical treatment of colloid cysts has been traditionally difficult with high rate of postoperative complications. The variety of surgical options reflects the technical difficulty in removing these benign lesions with low morbidity. Microsurgical removal has for years been considered the “gold standard” of treatment, with the use of either a transcortical–transventricular or a transcallosal approach. Neuroendoscopic management is emerging as a safe, effective alternative to microsurgery. The present review discusses the role

of endoscopy in the surgical treatment of third ventricular colloid cysts focusing on some factors, which might influence the outcome. The results have been presented from the literature and supplemented by the results of treating ten personal cases of third ventricular colloid cysts who were operated endoscopically in the Neurosurgical Department, Cairo University. This study aims at evaluating the endoscopic approach as a surgical line of treatment in the management of third ventricular colloid cysts and to see if it has already become superior over microsurgery.

Conclusions: Endoscopic approach to third ventricular colloid cysts is a minimally invasive procedure, which achieves both total evacuation of the cyst and at least near-total resection of the cyst wall with a low surgical morbidity. The available results document less radical excisions as compared to microsurgical group; this is counterbalanced by the lower incidence of complications and shorter operative, hospitalization, and rehabilitation time in the endoscopic group. This conclusion makes endoscopy an alternative and not a better choice than microsurgery. Consequently, the ongoing debate between both procedures remains unresolved. This dispute will become resolved only when long-term studies (mean follow-up for 10 years or greater) are available for a substantial number of patients who have undergone endoscopic resection.