Indication for a skull base approach in microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3235–3246

A thorough observation of the root exit zone (REZ) and secure transposition of the offending arteries is crucial for a successful microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS). Decompression procedures are not always feasible in a narrow operative field through a retrosigmoid approach. In such instances, extending the craniectomy laterally is useful in accomplishing the procedure safely. This study aims to introduce the benefits of a skull base approach in MVD for HFS.

Methods The skull base approach was performed in twenty-eight patients among 335 consecutive MVDs for HFS. The site of the neurovascular compression (NVC), the size of the flocculus, and the location of the sigmoid sinus are measured factors in the imaging studies. The indication for a skull base approach is evaluated and verified retrospectively in comparison with the conventional retrosigmoid approach. Operative outcomes and long-term results were analyzed retrospectively.

Results The extended retrosigmoid approach was used for 27 patients and the retrolabyrinthine presigmoid approach was used in one patient. The measurement value including the site of NVC, the size of the flocculus, and the location of the sigmoid sinus represents well the indication of the skull base approach, which is significantly different from the conventional retrosigmoid approach. The skull base approach is useful for patients with medially located NVC, a large flocculus, or repeat MVD cases. The long-term result demonstrated favorable outcomes in patients with the skull base approach applied. Conclusions Preoperative evaluation for lateral expansion of the craniectomy contributes to a safe and secure MVD.

Basilar decompression via a far lateral transcondylar approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2563–2572

Treatments for symptomatic or unstable basilar invagination (BI) include posterior decompression, distraction/ fusion, trans-nasal or trans-oral anterior decompression, and combined techniques, with the need for occipitocervical fusion based on the degree of craniocervical instability. Variations of the far lateral transcondylar approach are described in limited case series for BI, but have not been widely applied.

Methods A single-institution, retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing a far lateral transcondylar approach for odontoidectomy (± resection of the inferior clivus) followed by occipitocervical fusion over a 6-year period (1/1/2016 to 12/31/2021) is performed. Detailed technical notes are combined with images from cadaveric dissections and patient surgeries to illustrate our technique using a lateral retroauricular incision.

Results Nine patients were identified (3 males, 6 females; mean age 40.2 ± 19.6 years). All patients had congenital or acquired BI causing neurologic deficits. There were no major neurologic or wound-healing complications. 9/9 patients (100%) experienced improvement in preoperative symptoms.

Conclusions The far lateral transcondylar approach provides a direct corridor for ventral brainstem decompression in patients with symptomatic BI. A comprehensive knowledge of craniovertebral junction anatomy is critical to the safe performance of this surgery, especially when using a lateral retroauricular incision.

Combined endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid and sublabial transmaxillary approaches for a large infratemporal fossa trigeminal schwannoma

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2525–2531

Trigeminal schwannomas (TSs) with solitary extracranial location are rare, and surgical excision is challenging. In recent years, the endoscopic endonasal transmaxillary transpterygoid approach (EETPA) has been advocated as an effective strategy for TSs in the infratemporal fossa (ITF).

Method We describe the steps of the EETPA combined with the sublabial transmaxillary approach for the surgical excision of a giant mandibular schwannoma of the ITF. Indications, advantages, and approach-specific complications are also discussed. The main surgical steps are shown in an operative video.

Conclusion A combined EETPA and sublabial transmaxillary approach represents a safe and effective option for the surgical excision of extracranial TSs.

Surgery for clinoidal meningiomas with cavernous sinus extension: Near‑total excision and chiasmopexy

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2511–2515

The main factors limiting the extent of resection for clinoidal meningiomas are cavernous sinus extension and vessel adventitia involvement. The proximity to the optic apparatus and the risk of radiation-induced optic neuropathy often prevents many surgeons from proposing adjuvant radiosurgery.

Method We describe a simple technical solution that is to place a fat graft between the optic apparatus and the residual tumor to maintain the distance gained at surgery and facilitates the identification of anatomic structures.

Conclusion This technique allows to deliver optimal therapeutic doses to the residue reduces the dose received by the optic nerve below 8 Gy.

Hakuba’s triangle: a cadaveric study detailing its anatomy and neurovascular contents with vascular and skull base implications

Neurosurgical Review (2022) 45:2087–2093

Hakuba’s triangle is a superior cavernous sinus triangle that allows for wide and relatively safe exposure of vascular and neoplastic lesions.

This study provides cadaveric measurements of the borders of Hakuba’s triangle and describes its neurovascular contents in order to enrich the available literature.

The anatomical borders of the Hakuba’s triangle (lateral, medial, and posterior borders) were defined based on Hakuba’s description and identified. Then the triangle was dissected to reveal its morphology and relationship with adjacent neurovascular structures in Embalmed Caucasian cadaveric specimens.

The oculomotor nerve occupied roughly one-third of the area of the triangle and the nerve was more or less parallel to its medial border. The mean lengths of the lateral border, posterior border, and medial border were 17 mm ± 0.5 mm, 12.2 mm ± 0.4 mm, and 10.6 mm ± 0.4 mm, respectively. The mean area of Hakuba’s triangle was 63.9 mm 2 ± 4.4 mm 2 .

In this study, we provided cadaveric measurements of the borders of Hakuba’s triangle along with descriptions of its neurovascular contents.

Septal rhinopharyngeal flap: a novel technique for skull base reconstruction after endoscopic endonasal clivectomies

J Neurosurg 136:1601–1606, 2022

Endoscopic endonasal reconstruction techniques have improved CSF leak rates that were initially reported after surgery for cranial base and intradural lesions. However, wide surgical defects still pose a problem, especially if located in the clival region.

The authors propose and describe a novel reconstruction technique they call a septal rhinopharyngeal flap (SRF) specifically designed to address this issue. The SRF is formed by three components of mucosa: 1) septal, 2) rhinopharyngeal roof, and 3) rhinopharyngeal posterior wall components, which allows for the coverage of the tuberculum/ sellar region, midclivus, and lower clivus, respectively. A step-by-step procedure is described and its results analyzed in cases in which it has been used. The SRF was performed in 8 patients, which included diagnoses of 4 chordomas, 2 petroclival meningiomas, 1 invasive pituitary adenoma, and 1 chondrosarcoma. The size of the flap was considered optimal in all patients (100%). Postoperative MRI revealed contrast enhancement covering the entire surface of the flap. No CSF leaks were encountered after at least 1 postoperative year.

The SRF is a novel vascularized reconstruction technique specifically indicated for wide endosanasal clivectomies focused on the middle clivus with caudal extension into the lower clivus and craniocervical junction, as well as rostral extensions into the tubercular or planum sphenoidale. This new reconstruction technique could be added to the skull base reconstruction armamentarium as a safe and optimal option.


Management of cavernous sinus meningiomas: Consensus statement on behalf of the EANS skull base section

Brain and Spine 2 (2022) 100864

The evolution of cavernous sinus meningiomas (CSMs) might be unpredictable and the efficacy of their treatments is challenging due to their indolent evolution, variations and fluctuations of symptoms, heterogeneity of classifications and lack of randomized controlled trials. Here, a dedicated task force provides a consensus statement on the overall management of CSMs. Research question: To determine the best overall management of CSMs, depending on their clinical presentation, size, and evolution as well as patient characteristics.

Material and methods: Using the PRISMA 2020 guidelines, we included literature from January 2000 to December 2020. A total of 400 abstracts and 77 titles were kept for full-paper screening.

Results: The task force formulated 8 recommendations (Level C evidence). CSMs should be managed by a highly specialized multidisciplinary team. The initial evaluation of patients includes clinical, ophthalmological, endocrinological and radiological assessment. Treatment of CSM should involve experienced skull-base neurosurgeons or neuro-radiosurgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, and endocrinologists.

Discussion and conclusion: Radiosurgery is preferred as first-line treatment in small, enclosed, pauci-symptomatic lesions/in elderly patients, while large CSMs not amenable to resection or WHO grade II-III are candidates for radiotherapy. Microsurgery is an option in aggressive/rapidly progressing lesions in young patients presenting with oculomotor/visual/endocrinological impairment. Whenever surgery is offered, open cranial approaches are the current standard. There is limited experience reported about endoscopic endonasal approach for CSMs and the main indication is decompression of the cavernous sinus to improve symptoms. Whenever surgery is indicated, the current trend is to offer decompression followed by radiosurgery.

The mini-combined transpetrosal approach: an anatomical study and comparison with the combined transpetrosal approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1079–1093

The combined transpetrosal approach (CTPA) is a versatile technique suitable for challenging skull base pathologies. Despite the advantages provided by a wide surgical exposure, the soft tissue trauma, complex and time-consuming bony work, and cosmetic issues make it far from patient expectations. In this study, the authors describe a less invasive modification of the CTPA, the mini-combined transpetrosal approach (mini-CTPA), and perform a quantitative comparison between these two approaches.

Methods Five human specimens were used for this study. CTPA was performed on one side and mini-CTPA on the opposite side. The surgical freedom, petroclival and brainstem area of exposure, and maneuverability for 6 anatomical targets, provided by the CTPA and mini-CTPA, were calculated and statistically compared. The bony volumes corresponding to each anterior petrosectomy were also measured and compared. Three clinical cases with an operative video are also reported to illustrate the effectiveness of the approach.

Results The question-mark skin incision done along the muscle attachments permits an optimal cosmetic result. Even though the limited incision, the smaller craniotomy, and the less extensive bone drilling of mini-CTPA provide a smaller area of surgical freedom, the areas of exposure of petroclival region and brainstem were not statistically different between the two approaches. The antero-posterior maneuverability for the oculomotor foramen (OF), Meckel’s cave (MC) and the REZ of trigeminal nerve, and the supero-inferior maneuverability for OF, MC, Dorello’s canal, and REZ of CN VII are significantly reduced by the smaller opening. The bony volume of anterior petrosectomy resulted similar among the approaches.

Conclusions The mini-CTPA is an interesting alternative to the CTPA, providing comparable surgical exposure both for petroclival region and for brainstem. Although the lesser soft tissue dissection and bony opening decrease the surgical maneuverability, the mini-CTPA may reduce surgical time, potential approach-related morbidities, and improve cosmetic and functional outcomes for the patients.

Anterior transpetrosal approach: experiences in 274 cases over 33 years. Technical variations, operated patients, and approach-related complications

J Neurosurg 136:413–421, 2022

The anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) was initially reported in 1985. The authors’ institution has 274 case records of surgery performed with the ATPA during the period from 1984 to 2017. Although many technical advances and modifications in the ATPA have occurred over those 33 years, to the authors’ knowledge no articles to date have reported a detailed analysis of variations and complications of the ATPA. In this study, the authors analyzed their patient series to elucidate improvements over time in ATPA methodology while highlighting unresolved problems and evaluating how to avoid surgical complications.

METHODS All surgical cases (274 patients) using the ATPA at the authors’ institution during the period from 1984 to 2017 were analyzed retrospectively using charts, clinical summaries, operative records, and operative videos. Obtained parameters were patient age and sex, diagnosis, size of tumors, location of disease, operative date, neurological symptoms before and after surgery, radiographically identified brain injury, and other surgical complications. The most common diagnosis was petroclival meningioma (n = 158), followed by trigeminal schwannoma (n = 32), chordoma (n = 25), epidermoid tumor (n = 21), other tumor (n = 27), aneurysm (n = 6), and other (n = 5).

RESULTS The original ATPA was performed in 239 cases. In an additional 35 cases, a modified ATPA was performed. Zygomatic osteotomy with ATPA was a common modification that was used in 19 of the 35 cases to decrease retraction damage to the temporal lobe for high-positioned tumors. Brain injury by temporal lobe retraction without venous hemorrhage still occurred in 8 of the 19 cases (3.1%) with surgical death in 1 of these cases (0.4%) of reoperation with sacrifice of the petrosal vein. Symptomatic CSF leak was the most frequent complication noted and was observed in 35 cases (13.5%). In most of these cases the patients were cured by observation or lumbar drain, but in 6 cases (17.1%) reoperation was needed. Facial nerve damage related to surgical approach decreased from 6.2% to 3.5% after 2010; however, the incidence of CSF leaks (13.5%) has not improved.

CONCLUSIONS There have been several modifications and advancements made in the ATPA to increase tumor removal and decrease surgical complications. However, complications related to surgical approach occurred, such as venous occlusion–related brain injury and facial nerve damage at pyramid resection. CSF leak remained an unsolved problem related to the ATPA procedures. Preoperative assessment of venous variation of the middle fossa, pneumatization of the temporal bone, and intraoperative monitoring of cranial nerves are important procedures to decrease these complications.


Complications after 1002 endoscopic endonasal approach procedures at a single center: lessons learned, 2010–2018

The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has evolved into a mainstay of skull base surgery over the last two decades, but publications examining the intraoperative and perioperative complications of this technique remain scarce. A prior landmark series of 800 patients reported complications during the first era of EEA (1998–2007), parallel to the development of many now-routine techniques and technologies. The authors examined a single-institution series of more than 1000 consecutive EEA neurosurgical procedures performed since 2010, to elucidate the safety and risk factors associated with surgical and postoperative complications in this modern era.

After obtaining institutional review board approval, the authors retrospectively reviewed intraoperative and postoperative complications and their outcomes in patients who underwent EEA between July 2010 and June 2018 at a single institution.

The authors identified 1002 EEA operations that met the inclusion criteria. Pituitary adenoma was the most common pathology (n = 392 [39%]), followed by meningioma (n = 109 [11%]). No patients died intraoperatively. Two (0.2%) patients had an intraoperative carotid artery injury: 1 had no neurological sequelae, and 1 had permanent hemiplegia. Sixty-one (6.1%) cases of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak occurred, of which 45 occurred during the original surgical hospitalization. Transient postoperative sodium dysregulation was noted after 87 (8.7%) operations. Six (0.6%) patients were treated for meningitis, and 1 (0.1%) patient died of a fungal skull base infection. Three (0.3%) patients died of medical complications, thereby yielding a perioperative 90-day mortality rate of 0.4% (4 deaths). High-grade (Clavien-Dindo grade III–V) complications were identified after 103 (10%) EEA procedures, and multivariate analysis was performed to determine the associations between factors and these more serious complications. Extradural EEA was significantly associated with decreased rates of these high-grade complications (OR [95% CI] 0.323 [0.153–0.698], p = 0.0039), whereas meningioma pathology (OR [95% CI] 2.39 [1.30–4.40], p = 0.0053), expanded-approach intradural surgery (OR [95% CI] 2.54 [1.46–4.42], p = 0.0009), and chordoma pathology (OR [95% CI] 9.31 [3.87–22.4], p < 0.0001) were independently associated with significantly increased rates of high-grade complications.

The authors have reported a large 1002-operation cohort of EEA procedures and associated complications. Modern EEA surgery for skull base pathologies has an acceptable safety profile with low morbidity and mortality rates. Nevertheless, significant intraoperative and postoperative complications were correlated with complex intradural procedures and meningioma and chordoma pathologies.

Morphometric Study of the Posterior Fossa: Identification of Practical Parameters for Tailored Selection of Surgical Routes to the Petroclival Region

J Neurol Surg B Skull Base 2022;83:37–43

The petroclival region is an integral part of the skull base. It can harbor different pathologies and provides access to the petroclival junction and cerebellopontine angle. We present the results of the morphometric analysis of the posterior fossa and a prediction model to enable skull base surgeons to choose an optimal surgical corridor considering patient’s bony anatomy.

Methods Ninety patients (14 to assess interobserver reliability) with temporal bone computed tomography were selected. Exclusion criteria included patients <18 years of age, radiographic evidence of trauma, infection, or previous surgery. The images were analyzed using OsiriX MD (Bernex, Switzerland). We recorded clival length, vertical angle, and surface area, and petroclival angle, petrous apex, and translabyrinthine corridors volume.

Results The average age was 49.5 years (55%) for males. The mean clival length and surface areas were 44.2mm (standard deviation [SD]   4.1) and 8.1 cm2 (SD   1.3). The mean petrous apex and translabyrinthine corridors volumes were 2.2 cm3 (SD   0.6) and 10.1 cm3 (SD   3.7). The mean petroclival angle at the internal auditory canal (IAC) was 154.9 degrees (SD   9). The clival length correlated positively with clival surface area (rho   0.6, p <0.05), petrous apex volume (rho   0.3, p < 0.05), and translabyrinthine volume (rho   0.3, p < 0.05).

Conclusion The petroclival region is complex and with high variability of surgical significance. The use of preoperative measurements of the clival length and petroclival angle as part of surgical planning that could help the surgeon to choose an optimal surgical corridor by overcoming the anatomical variability elements.

Endoscopic endonasal versus transcranial surgery for primary resection of craniopharyngiomas based on a new QST classification system

J Neurosurg 135:1298–1309, 2021

An assessment of the transcranial approach (TCA) and the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for craniopharyngiomas (CPs) according to tumor types has not been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate both surgical approaches for different types of CPs.

METHODS A retrospective review of primary resected CPs was performed. A QST classification system based on tumor origin was used to classify tumors into 3 types as follows: infrasellar/subdiaphragmatic CPs (Q-CPs), subarachnoidal CPs (S-CPs), and pars tuberalis CPs (T-CPs). Within each tumor type, patients were further arranged into two groups: those treated via the TCA and those treated via the EEA. Patient and tumor characteristics, surgical outcomes, and postoperative complications were obtained. All variables were statistically analyzed between surgical groups for each tumor type.

RESULTS A total of 315 patients were included in this series, of whom 87 were identified with Q-CPs (49 treated via TCA and 38 via EEA); 56 with S-CPs (36 treated via TCA and 20 via EEA); and 172 with T-CPs (105 treated via TCA and 67 via EEA). Patient and tumor characteristics were equivalent between both surgical groups in each tumor type. The overall gross-total resection rate (90.5% TCA vs 91.2% EEA, p = 0.85) and recurrence rate (8.9% TCA vs 6.4% EEA, p = 0.35) were similar between surgical groups. The EEA group had a greater chance of visual improvement (61.6% vs 35.8%, p = 0.01) and a decreased risk of visual deterioration (1.6% vs 11.0%, p < 0.001). Of the patients with T-CPs, postoperative hypothalamic status was better in the TCA group than in the EEA group (p = 0.016). Postoperative CSF leaks and nasal complication rates occurred more frequently in the EEA group (12.0% vs 0.5%, and 9.6% vs 0.5%; both p < 0.001). For Q-CPs, EEA was associated with an increased gross-total resection rate (97.4% vs 85.7%, p = 0.017), decreased recurrence rate (2.6% vs 12.2%, p = 0.001), and lower new hypopituitarism rate (28.9% vs 57.1%, p = 0.008). The recurrence-free survival in patients with Q-CPs was also significantly different between surgical groups (log-rank test, p = 0.037). The EEA required longer surgical time for T-CPs (p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS CPs could be effectively treated by radical surgery with favorable results. Both TCA and EEA have their advantages and limitations when used to manage different types of tumors. Individualized surgical strategies based on tumor growth patterns are mandatory to achieve optimal outcomes.

Neurosurgical management of petrous bone lesions: classification system and selection of surgical approaches

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2895–2907

Surgery of petrous bone lesions (PBLs) is challenging for neurosurgeons. Selection of the surgical approach is an important key for success. In this study, the authors present an anatomical classification for PBLs that has been used by our group for over the past 26 years. The objective of this study is to investigate the benefits and applicability of this classification.

Methods Between 1994 and 2019, 117 patients treated for PBLs were retrospectively reviewed. Using the V3 and arcuate eminence as reference points, the petrous bone is segmented into 3 parts: petrous apex, rhomboid, and posterior. The pathological diagnoses, selection of the operative approach, and the extent of resection (EOR) were analyzed and correlated using this classification.

Results This series included 22 facial nerve schwannomas (18.8%), 22 cholesterol granulomas (18.8%), 39 chordomas/ chondrosarcomas (33.3%), 6 trigeminal schwannomas (5.1%), 13 epidermoids/dermoids (11.1%), and 15 other pathologies (12.8%). PBLs were most often involved with the petrous apex and rhomboid areas (46.2%). The extradural subtemporal approach (ESTA) was most frequently used (57.3%). Gross total resection was achieved in 58.4%. Symptomatic improvement occurred in 92 patients (78.6%). Our results demonstrated a correlation between this classification with each type of pathology (p < .001), selection of surgical approaches (p < 0.001), and EOR (p = 0.008). Chordoma/chondrosarcoma, redo operations, and lesions located medially were less likely to have total resection. Temporary complications occurred in 8 cases (6.8%), persistent morbidity in 5 cases (4.3%), and mortality in 1 case.

Conclusion In this study, we proposed a simple classification of PBLs. Using landmarks on the superior petrosal surface, the petrous bone is divided into 3 parts, apex, rhomboid, and posterior. Our results demonstrated that chordoma/chondrosarcoma, redo operations, and lesions involving the tip of the petrous apex or far medial locations were more difficult to achieve total resection. This classification could help surgeons understand surgical anatomy framework, predict possible structures at risk, and select the most appropriate approach for each patient.

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.

Impact of vestibular nerve preservation on facial and hearing outcomes in small vestibular schwannoma surgery

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2219–2224

Management of small vestibular schwannomas (VSs) remains controversial. When surgery is chosen, the preservation of facial and cochlear nerve function is a priority. In this report, we introduce and evaluate a technique to anatomically preserve the vestibular nerves to minimize manipulation and preserve the function of the facial and cochlear nerves.

Methods The vestibular nerve preservation technique was prospectively applied to resect small VS tumors in patients with serviceable preoperative hearing (American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) class A or B). Clinical and radiological data were recorded and analyzed.

Results Ten patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean (SD) age was 40.4 (12.5) years. Follow-up ranged from 6 weeks to 2 years. The maximum tumor diameter parallel to the internal auditory canal ranged from 10 to 20 mm (mean, 14.9 (3.1) mm). There were three Koos grade 3 and seven Koos grade 2 tumors. Gross total resection was achieved in all cases. Both the facial and cochlear nerves were anatomically preserved in all cases. Postoperatively, 7 patients (70%) remained in the AAO-HNS class A or B hearing category. None of the patients had new vestibular symptoms, and all had House–Brackmann grade 1 facial function. Nervus intermedius dysfunction was observed in 1 patient preoperatively, which worsened postoperatively. Two patients had new nervus intermedius symptoms postoperatively.

Conclusion Improvement of facial nerve and hearing outcomes is feasible through the intentional preservation of the vestibular nerves in the resection of small VSs. Longer follow-up is required to rule out tumor recurrence.

Large and small vestibular schwannomas: same, yet different tumors

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2199–2207

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) present at variable size with heterogeneous symptomatology. Modern treatment paradigms for large VS include gross total resection, subtotal resection (STR) in combination with observation, and/or radiation to achieve optimal function preservation, whereas treatment is felt to be both easier and safer for small VS. The objective is to better characterize the presentation and surgical outcomes of large and small VS.

Methods We collected data of patients who had surgically treated VS with a posterior fossa diameter of 4.0 cm or larger (large tumor group, LTG) and smaller than 1.0 cm in cisternal diameter (small tumor group, STG). Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05.

Results LTG included 48 patients (average tumor size: 44.9 mm) and STG 38 (7.9 mm). Patients in STG presented more frequently with tinnitus and sudden hearing loss. Patients in LTG underwent more STR than STG (50.0% vs. 2.6%, p < 0.0001). LTG had more complications (31.3% vs. 13.2%, p = 0.049). Postoperative facial nerve function in STG was significantly better than LTG. STG had better hearing preoperatively (p < 0.0001) and postoperatively than LTG (p = 0.0002). Postoperative headache was more common in STG (13.2% vs. 2.1%, p = 0.045). The rate of recurrence/progression needing treatment was not statistically different between the groups (12.5% in LTG vs. 7.9% in STG, p = 0.49). Those patients who required periprocedural cerebrospinal fluid diversion had higher risk of infection (20.8% vs 4.8%, p = 0.022).

Conclusion Large and small VS present differently. LTG showed more unsatisfactory outcomes in facial nerve function and postoperative hearing despite maximal efforts undertaken toward function-preservation strategy; however, similar tumor control was achieved.

The orbitopterygoid corridor as a deep keyhole for endoscopic access to the paranasal sinuses and clivus

J Neurosurg 134:1480–1489, 2021

The anteromedial triangle (AMT) is the triangle formed by the ophthalmic (V1) and maxillary (V2) nerves. Opening of this bony space offers a limited access to the sphenoid sinus (SphS). This study aims to demonstrate the utility of the orbitopterygopalatine corridor (OPC), obtained by enlarging the AMT and transposing the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) and V2, as an entrance to the SphS, maxillary sinus (MaxS), and nasal cavity.

METHODS Five formalin-injected cadaveric specimens were used for this study (10 approaches). A classic pterional approach was performed. An OPC was created through the inferior orbital fissure, between the orbit and the PPF, by transposing the PPF inferiorly. The extent of the OPC was measured using neuronavigation and manual measurements. Two illustrative cases using the OPC to access skull base tumors are presented in the body of the article.

RESULTS Via the OPC, the SphS, MaxS, ethmoid sinus (EthS), and nasal cavity could be accessed. The use of endoscopic assistance through the OPC achieved better visualization of the EthS, SphS, MaxS, clivus, and nasal cavity. A significant gain in the area of exposure could be achieved using the OPC compared to the AMT (22.4 mm2 vs 504.1 mm2).

CONCLUSIONS Opening of the AMT and transposition of V2 and the contents of the PPF creates the OPC, a potentially useful deep keyhole to access the paranasal sinuses and clival region through a middle fossa approach. It is a valuable alternative approach to reach deep-seated skull base lesions infiltrating the cavernous sinus and middle cranial fossa and extending into the paranasal sinus.

Hyperostosing sphenoid wing meningiomas: surgical outcomes and strategy for bone resection and multidisciplinary orbital reconstruction

J Neurosurg 134:711–720, 2021

Hyperostosing sphenoid wing meningiomas cause bony hyperostosis that may extend into the orbit, resulting in proptosis, restriction of extraocular movements, and/or compressive optic neuropathy. The extent of bony removal necessary and the optimal reconstruction strategy to prevent enophthalmos is debated. Herein, the authors present their surgical outcomes and reconstruction results.

METHODS This is a retrospective review of 54 consecutive patients undergoing resection of sphenoid wing meningiomas associated with bony hyperostosis. The majority of cases were operated on by the senior author. Extent of tumor resection, volumetric bone resection, radiographic exophthalmos index, complications, and recurrence were analyzed.

RESULTS The median age of the cohort was 52.1 years, with women comprising 83% of patients. Proptosis was a presenting symptom in 74%, and 52% had decreased visual acuity. The WHO grade was I (85%) or II (15%). The median follow-up was 2.6 years. On volumetric analysis, a median 86% of hyperostotic bone was resected. Gross-total resection of the intracranial tumor was achieved in 43% and the orbital tumor in 27%, and of all intracranial and orbital components in 20%. Orbital reconstruction was performed in 96% of patients. Postoperative vision was stable or improved in 98% of patients and diplopia improved in 89%. Postoperative complications occurred in 44% of patients, and 26% of patients underwent additional surgery for complication management. The most frequent complications were medical complications and extraocular movement deficits. The median preoperative exophthalmos index was 1.26, which improved to 1.12 immediately postoperatively and to 1.09 at the 6-month follow-up (p < 0.001). Postoperatively, 18 patients (33%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy after subtotal resection. Tumors recurred/progressed in 12 patients (22%).

CONCLUSIONS Resection of hyperostosing sphenoid wing meningiomas, particularly achieving gross-total resection of hyperostotic bone with a good aesthetic result, is challenging and associated with notable medical and ocular morbidity. Recurrence rates in this series are higher than previously reported. Nevertheless, the authors were able to attain improvement in proptosis and visual symptoms in the majority of patients by using a multidisciplinary approach.

Trigeminal schwannoma: a single-center experience with 43 cases and review of literature

British Journal of Neurosurgery 2021, 35:1, 49-56

Trigeminal schwannomas (TS) are rare, when compared to vestibular schwannomas. The present study aims to analyze the clinical characteristics and surgical strategies of TS via the retrospective analysis of the clinical data of 43 patients.

Methods: The clinical information of 43 patients diagnosed with TS, who were surgically treated from January 2008 to January 2018, was retrospectively analyzed. Then, the selection of approaches and surgical strategies were discussed.

Results: During the last 10 years, 43 patients with TS received surgical treatment at Xuan Wu Hospital of Capital Medical University. Facial numbness and hypoesthesia were the most common symptoms, which developed in 29 cases (67.4%). Typical trigeminal neuralgia was complained by four patients (9.3%), while trigeminal motor impairment developed in nine cases (20.9%). The tumor was totally removed in 39 patients (90.7%), near-totally removed in three patients (7.0%), and partially removed in one patient (2.3%) due to intraoperative internal carotid artery (ICA) injury. The abducens was intraoperatively damaged in two patients (4.7%). After the operation, all four patients with trigeminal neuralgia achieved total recovery, but the facial numbness still continued in 24 patients (82.8%). At a median of 45.3 ± 25.5 (6–84) months of follow up, a tumor recurred in only one patient, and this patient received a second operation.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that total removal via the proper approach can be the best treatment for TS with a low complication rate. However, preoperative symptoms, such as facial numbness and trigeminal motor impairment that seldom improved though normal fibers, were carefully recognized and preserved during the operation.

Access to Meckel’s cave for biopsies of indeterminate lesions

Neurosurgical Review (2021) 44:249–259

Accessing Meckel’s cave (MC) is surgically challenging. Open approaches are complex and often correlated with high morbidity. Endoscopic approaches emerged in the last decade as feasible alternatives to open approaches, especially for sampling indeterminate lesions.

This article first analyses available routes to approach Meckel’s cave and presents furthermore an illustrative case. We conducted a systematic review and reported according to the guidelines for preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). Various surgical approaches identified through the search are evaluated and discussed in detail. Additionally, we report on a case of woman with a lesion in MC, which was accessed through an endoscopic transpterygoid approach subsequently diagnosed as a diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Our search delivered 75 articles that included case reports (n = 21), cadaveric studies (n = 32), clinical articles (n = 16), review of the literatures (n = 3), as well as technical notes (n = 2) and a radiological manuscript (n = 1).

Open routes included lateral approaches with many variations, mainly intra- and extradural pterional approaches and anterior petrosal, as well as a retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal and a lateral transorbital approach.

Endoscopically, MC was reached via approaches that included transpterygoid, transorbital or infraorbital fissure routes.

Percutaneous approaches, e.g. through the foramen ovale, were also described. Multiple surgical approaches to MC are currently available.

Their different characteristics as well as individual patient factors, such as clinical history and the localization of the disease, have to be considered when choosing a surgical corridor.

Studies included in this review highlight the endonasal endoscopic transpterygoidal technique as an excellent corridor for biopsies in the ventral MC.

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