The paper describes a retrospective study of a consecutive series of 20 midline anterior cranial fossa meningiomas (five of the olfactory groove, 14 of the tuberculum sellae, and one clinoidal), which were operated on via a supraorbital keyhole approach between 2002 and 2008.
The series includes three males and 17 females (mean age 57 years, mean size of the tumors 3.5×3 cm, and mean follow-up 48 months). Gross total excision was achieved in 18 cases and subtotal resection in two. Out of 14 patients with visual deficits, nine patients improved, one remained stable, and three deteriorated. Two patients presented a recurrence 3 years after surgery. One peri-operative death was recorded.
The subgroup of patients with tuberculum sellae meningiomas was analyzed in details. A meta-analysis of the major series of such meningiomas in the last 20 years has been performed in order to compare results of different surgical techniques. With regard to primary outcomes of these tumors, gross total removal, restoration of visual function, morbidity, mortality, and recurrence rates, the supraorbital approach, for selected cases, seems to offer valuable results, comparable with those reported in conventional and endoscopic approaches and with very low surgical aggressiveness. However, statistical data available from the literature, particularly on visual function, are still too limited to draw definitive conclusions.
The best surgical option for the individual patient cannot yet be standardized and should be chosen on the basis of tumor anatomy, pre-operative clinical symptoms, and surgeon’s experience.