A system of anatomical triangles defining dissection routes to brainstem cavernous malformations

J Neurosurg 138:768–784, 2023

Anatomical triangles defined by intersecting neurovascular structures delineate surgical routes to pathological targets and guide neurosurgeons during dissection steps. Collections or systems of anatomical triangles have been integrated into skull base surgery to help surgeons navigate complex regions such as the cavernous sinus. The authors present a system of triangles specifically intended for resection of brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs). This system of triangles is complementary to the authors’ BSCM taxonomy that defines dissection routes to these lesions.

METHODS The anatomical triangle through which a BSCM was resected microsurgically was determined for the patients treated during a 23-year period who had both brain MRI and intraoperative photographs or videos available for review.

RESULTS Of 183 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 50 had midbrain lesions (27%), 102 had pontine lesions (56%), and 31 had medullary lesions (17%). The craniotomies used to resect these BSCMs included the extended retrosigmoid (66 [36.1%]), midline suboccipital (46 [25.1%]), far lateral (30 [16.4%]), pterional/orbitozygomatic (17 [9.3%]), torcular (8 [4.4%]), and lateral suboccipital (8 [4.4%]) approaches. The anatomical triangles through which the BSCMs were most frequently resected were the interlobular (37 [20.2%]), vallecular (32 [17.5%]), vagoaccessory (30 [16.4%]), supracerebellar-infratrochlear (16 [8.7%]), subtonsillar (14 [7.7%]), oculomotor-tentorial (11 [6.0%]), infragalenic (8 [4.4%]), and supracerebellar-supratrochlear (8 [4.4%]) triangles. New but infrequently used triangles included the vertebrobasilar junctional (1 [0.5%]), supratrigeminal (3 [1.6%]), and infratrigeminal (5 [2.7%]) triangles. Overall, 15 BSCM subtypes were exposed through 6 craniotomies, and the approach was redirected to the BSCM by one of the 14 triangles paired with the BSCM subtype.

CONCLUSIONS A system of BSCM triangles, including 9 newly defined triangles, was introduced to guide dissection to these lesions. The use of an anatomical triangle better defines the pathway taken through the craniotomy to the lesion and refines the conceptualization of surgical approaches. The triangle concept and the BSCM triangle system increase the precision of dissection through subarachnoid corridors, enhance microsurgical execution, and potentially improve patient outcomes.

Sacrifice or preserve the superior petrosal vein in microvascular decompression surgery

J Neurosurg 138:390–398, 2023

In microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery through the retrosigmoid approach, the surgeon may have to sacrifice the superior petrosal vein (SPV). However, this is a controversial maneuver. To date, high-level evidence comparing the operative outcomes of patients who underwent MVD with and without SPV sacrifice is lacking. Therefore, this study sought to bridge this gap.

METHODS The authors searched the Medline and PubMed databases with appropriate Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms and keywords. The primary outcome was vascular-related complications; secondary outcomes were new neurological deficit, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, and neuralgia relief. The pooled proportions of outcomes and OR (95% CI) for categorical data were calculated by using the logit transformation and Mantel-Haenszel methods, respectively.

RESULTS Six studies yielding 1143 patients were included, of which 618 patients had their SPV sacrificed. The pooled proportion (95% CI) values were 3.82 (0.87–15.17) for vascular-related complications, 3.64 (1.0–12.42) for new neurological deficits, 2.85 (1.21–6.58) for CSF leaks, and 88.90 (84.90–91.94) for neuralgia relief. The meta-analysis concluded that, whether the surgeon sacrificed or preserved the SPV, the odds were similar for vascular-related complications (2.5% vs 1.5%, OR [95% CI] 1.01 [0.33–3.09], p = 0.99), new neurological deficits (1.2% vs 2.8%, OR [95% CI] 0.55 [0.18–1.66], p = 0.29), CSF leak (3.1% vs 2.1%, OR [95% CI] 1.16 [0.46–2.94], p = 0.75), and neuralgia relief (86.6% vs 87%, OR [95% CI] 0.96 [0.62–1.49], p = 0.84).

CONCLUSIONS SPV sacrifice is as safe as SPV preservation. The authors recommend intentional SPV sacrifice when gentle retraction fails to enhance surgical field visualization and if the surgeon encounters SPV-related neurovascular conflict and/or anticipates impeding SPV-related bleeding.


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.

Anatomical relationship between the foramen ovale and the lateral plate of the pterygoid process: application to percutaneous treatments of trigeminal neuralgia

Neurosurgical Review (2022) 45:2193–2199

Our aim was to clarify the variations in the positional relationship between the base of the lateral plate of the pterygoid process and the foramen ovale (FO), which block inserted needles during percutaneous procedures to the FO usually used for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Ninety skulls were examined. The horizontal relationship between the FO and the posterior border of the base of the lateral plate of the pterygoid process was observed in an inferior view of the skull base. Skulls that showed injury to either the FO or the lateral plate of the pterygoid process on either side were excluded.

One hundred and sixty sides of eighty skulls were eligible. The relationship between the FO and the posterior border of the base of the lateral plate was classified into four types. Among the 160 sides, type III (direct type) was the most common (35%), followed by type I (lateral type, 29%) and type IV (removed type, 21%); type II (medial type) was the least common (15%). Of the 80 specimens, 53 showed the same type bilaterally.

In type IV, the posterior border of the base of the lateral plate is disconnected from the FO, so percutaneous procedures for treating trigeminal neuralgia could fail in patients with this type.

Surgical anatomy of minimally invasive lateral approaches to the thoracolumbar junction

J Neurosurg Spine 36:937–944, 2022

The thoracolumbar (TL) junction spanning T11 to L2 is difficult to access because of the convergence of multiple anatomical structures and tissue planes. Earlier studies have described different approaches and anatomical
structures relevant to the TL junction. This anatomical study aims to build a conceptual framework for selecting and executing a minimally invasive lateral approach to the spine for interbody fusion at any level of the TL junction with appropriate adjustments for local anatomical variations.

METHODS The authors reviewed anatomical dissections from 9 fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens as well as clinical case examples to denote key anatomical relationships and considerations for approach selection.

RESULTS The retroperitoneal and retropleural spaces reside within the same extracoelomic cavity and are separated from each other by the lateral attachments of the diaphragm to the rib and the L1 transverse process. If the lateral diaphragmatic attachments are dissected and the diaphragm is retracted anteriorly, the retroperitoneal and retropleural spaces will be in direct continuity, allowing full access to the TL junction. The T12–L2 disc spaces can be reached by a conventional lateral retroperitoneal exposure with the rostral displacement of the 11th and 12th ribs. With caudally
displaced ribs, or to expose T12–L1 disc spaces, the diaphragm can be freed from its lateral attachments to perform a retrodiaphragmatic approach. The T11–12 disc space can be accessed purely through a retropleural approach without significant mobilization of the diaphragm.

CONCLUSIONS The entirety of the TL junction can be accessed through a minimally invasive extracoelomic approach, with or without manipulation of the diaphragm. Approach selection is determined by the region of interest, degree of diaphragmatic mobilization required, and rib anatomy.

Mastication after craniotomy: pilot assessment of postoperative oral health‐related quality of life

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1347–1355

Neurosurgical approaches to the brain often require the mobilization of the temporal muscle. Many patients complain of postoperative pain, atrophy, reduced mouth opening, and masticatory problems. Although the pterional, frontolateral- extended-pterional, and temporal craniotomies are the most frequently used approaches in neurosurgery, a systematic assessment of the postoperative oral health-related quality of life has never been performed so far. This study evaluates the oral health-related quality of life of patients after pterional, frontolateral-extended-pterional, or temporal craniotomy using a validated and standardized dental questionnaire, compares the results with the normal values of the general population, and investigates whether this questionnaire is sensitive to changes caused by surgical manipulation of the temporal muscle.

Methods The “Oral Health Impact Profile” (OHIP14) is a validated questionnaire to assess the oral health-related quality of life. It asks the patients to assess their oral health situation within the past 7 days in 14 questions. Possible answers range from 0 (never) to 4 (very often). Sixty patients with benign intracranial processes operated through a lateral cranial approach were included. The questionnaire was answered before surgery (baseline) and 3 months and 15 months after surgery.

Results Overall, postoperative OHIP scores increase significantly after 3 months and decrease after 15 months, but not to preoperative values. No factors can be identified which show a considerable relationship with the postoperative OHIP score.

Conclusions Postoperative impairment of mouth opening and pain during mastication can be observed 3 to 15 months after surgery and sometimes cause feedback from patients and their dentists. However, in line with existing literature, these complaints decrease with time. The study shows that the OHIP questionnaire is sensitive to changes caused by surgical manipulation of the temporal muscle and can therefore be used to investigate the influence of surgical techniques on postoperative complaints. Postoperatively, patients show worse OHIP scores than the general population, demonstrating that neurosurgical cranial approaches negatively influence the patient’s oral health-related wellbeing. Larger studies using the OHIP questionnaire should evaluate if postoperative physical therapy, speech therapy, or specialized rehabilitation devices can improve the masticatory impairment after craniotomy.

How I do it: horizontal fissure approach to the middle cerebellar peduncle

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:763–766

The horizontal fissure approach is a workhorse for brainstem lesions in the central and dorsolateral pons and middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP). The cerebellopontine fissure is a V-shaped fissure with a superior and inferior limb between the cerebellum, pons, and MCP. The horizontal or petrosal fissure is at the apex of the cerebellopontine fissure and extends laterally to divide the petrosal surface of the cerebellum into superior and inferior parts. Splitting this fissure exposes the posterolateral aspect of the MCP without excessive retraction or transgression of the cerebellum.

Method We demonstrate and describe the horizontal fissure operative approach to the middle cerebellar peduncle for resection of a pontine cavernoma with illustrative figures and operative video.

Conclusion Splitting the horizontal (petrosal) fissure of the cerebellum brings the middle cerebellar peduncle into view behind the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve, providing an expanded, safe corridor to the central and dorsolateral pons.


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.

Microneurosurgical removal of thalamic lesions: surgical results and considerations from a large, single-surgeon consecutive series

J Neurosurg 135:458–468, 2021

The object of this study was to present the surgical results of a large, single-surgeon consecutive series of patients who had undergone transcisternal (TCi) or transcallosal-transventricular (TCTV) endoscope-assisted microsurgery for thalamic lesions.

METHODS This is a retrospective study of a consecutive series of patients harboring thalamic lesions and undergoing surgery at one institution between February 2007 and August 2019. All surgical and patient-related data were prospectively collected. Depending on the relationship between the lesion and the surgically accessible thalamic surfaces (lateral ventricle, velar, cisternal, and third ventricle), one of the following surgical TCi or TCTV approaches was chosen: anterior interhemispheric transcallosal (AIT), posterior interhemispheric transtentorial subsplenial (PITS), perimedian supracerebellar transtentorial (PeST), or perimedian contralateral supracerebellar suprapineal (PeCSS). Since January 2018, intraoperative MRI has also been part of the protocol. The main study outcome was extent of resection. Complete neurological examination took place preoperatively, at discharge, and 3 months postoperatively. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the whole cohort.

RESULTS In the study period, 92 patients underwent surgery for a thalamic lesion: 81 gliomas, 6 cavernous malformations, 2 germinomas, 1 metastasis, 1 arteriovenous malformation, and 1 ependymal cyst. In none of the cases was a transcortical approach adopted. Thirty-five patients underwent an AIT approach, 35 a PITS, 19 a PeST, and 3 a PeCSS. The mean follow-up was 38 months (median 20 months, range 1–137 months). No patient was lost to follow-up. The mean extent of resection was 95% (median 100%, range 21%–100%), and there was no surgical mortality. Most patients (59.8%) experienced improvement in their Karnofsky Performance Status. New permanent neurological deficits occurred in 8 patients (8.7%). Early postoperative (< 3 months after surgery) problems in CSF circulation requiring diversion occurred in 7 patients (7.6%; 6/7 cases in patients with high-grade glioma).

CONCLUSIONS Endoscope-assisted microsurgery allows for the removal of thalamic lesions with acceptable morbidity. Surgeons must strive to access any given thalamic lesion through one of the four accessible thalamic surfaces, as they can be reached through either a TCTV or TCi approach with no or minimal damage to normal brain parenchyma. Patients harboring a high-grade glioma are likely to develop a postoperative disturbance of CSF circulation. For this reason, the AIT approach should be favored, as it facilitates a microsurgical third ventriculocisternostomy and allows intraoperative MRI to be done.

Impact of C‑shaped skin incision on surgical operability in the retrosigmoid approach: when a good start is half of the job

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2155–2163

The retrosigmoid approach (RSA) is one of the routes of choice to approach tumors and vascular lesions of the cerebellopontine angle. Among different types of skin incisions and soft tissue dissection techniques, the most widely used variants comprise the straight/lazy S-shaped and the C-shaped incisions. Several reports discuss advantages in terms of functional and clinical outcomes of the C-shaped incision, but scientific considerations about the critical impact of this kind of incision on surgical operability are still extremely limited.

Object Authors comparatively analyze the advantage provided by C-shaped incision in RSA in terms of anatomic exposure and surgical operability, compared with straight/lazy S-shaped one.

Methods A comparative microanatomical laboratory investigation was conducted. The operability score (OS) was applied for quantitative analysis of surgical operability.

Results C-shaped incision, providing a significant reduction of the overall working distance (–13%) together with an overall increase of the maneuverability area (+ 204.9%), did improve the conizing effect on the surgical corridor. It optimized overall maneuverability of surgical instruments, in terms of angle of attack (+ 27.7%), as well as maneuverability arc (+ 122%), on the entire surgical field. C-shaped incision ensured good operability on all surgical targets (OS ranging from 2 to 3), most significantly improving surgical maneuverability at the porus trigeminus and internal acoustic meatus.

Conclusion C-shaped incision in the RSA significantly improves anatomic exposure and surgical operability as compared with straight/lazy S-shaped incision.

Minimally invasive trans-sulcal parafascicular surgical resection of cerebral tumors

Neurosurg Rev (2021) 44:1611–1624

The minimally invasive port-based trans-sulcal parafascicular surgical corridor (TPSC) has incrementally evolved to provide a safe, feasible, and effective alternative to access subcortical and intraventricular pathologies. A detailed anatomical foundation is important in mitigating cortical and white matter tract injury with this corridor.

Thus, the aims of this study are (1) to provide a detailed anatomical construct and overview of TPSCs and (2) to translate an anatomical framework to early clinical experience.

Based on regional anatomical constraints, suitable parafascicular entry points were identified and described. Fiber tracts at both minimal and increased risks for each corridor were analyzed. TPSC-managed cases for metastatic or primary brain tumors were retrospectively reviewed. Adult patients 18 years or older with Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) ≥ 70 were included. Subcortical brain metastases between 2 and 6 cm or primary brain tumors between 2 and 5 cm were included. Patient-specific corridors and trajectories were determined using MRI-tractography.

Anatomy: The following TPSCs were described and translated to clinical practice: superior frontal, inferior frontal, inferior temporal, intraparietal, and postcentral sulci.

Clinical: Eleven patients (5 males, 6 females) were included (mean age = 52 years). Seven tumors were metastatic, and 4 were primary. Gross total, near total, and subtotal resection was achieved in 7, 3, and 1 patient(s), respectively. Three patients developed intraoperative complications; all recovered from their intraoperative deficits and returned to baseline in 30 days.

A detailed TPSC anatomical framework is critical in conducting safe and effective port-based surgical access. This review may represent one of the few early translational TPSC studies bridging anatomical data to clinical subcortical and intraventricular surgical practice.

Mapping and anatomo-surgical techniques for SMA-cingulum-corpus callosum gliomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:1239–1246

Awake brain mapping paradigms are variable, particularly in SMA, and not personalised to each patient. In addition, subpial resections do not offer full protection to vascular injury, as the pia can be easily violated.

Methods Mapping paradigms developed by a multidisciplinary brain mapping team. During resection, a combined subpial/ interhemispheric approach allowed early identification and arterial skeletonization. Precise anatomo-surgical dissection of the affected cingulum and corpus callosum was achieved.

Conclusions In SMA-cingulum-CC tumours, a combined subpial/interhemispheric approach reduces risk of vascular injury allowing precise anatomo-surgical dissections. Knowledge of cognitive functions of affected parcels is likely to offer best outcomes.

Comparative anatomical analysis between the minipterional and supraorbital approaches

J Neurosurg 134:1276–1284, 2021

Keyhole approaches, namely the minipterional approach (MPTa) and the supraorbital approach (SOa), are alternatives to the standard pterional approach to treat lesions located in the anterior and middle cranial fossae. Despite their increasing popularity and acceptance, the indications and limitations of these approaches require further assessment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the differences in the area of surgical exposure and surgical maneuverability provided by the MPTa and SOa.

METHODS The areas of surgical exposure afforded by the MPTa and SOa were analyzed in 12 sides of cadaver heads by using a microscope and a neuronavigation system. The area of exposure of the region of interest and surgical freedom (maneuverability) of each approach were calculated.

RESULTS The area of exposure was significantly larger in the MPTa than in the SOa (1250 ± 223 mm2 vs 939 ± 139 mm2, p = 0.002). The MPTa provided larger areas of exposure in the ipsilateral and midline compartments, whereas there was no significant difference in the area of exposure in the contralateral compartment. All targets in the anterior circulation had significantly larger areas of surgical freedom when treated via the MPTa versus the SOa.

CONCLUSIONS The MPTa provides greater surgical exposure and better maneuverability than that offered by the SOa. The SOa may be advantageous as a direct corridor for treating lesions located in the contralateral side or in the anterior cranial fossa, but the surgical exposure provided in the midline region is inferior to that exposed by the MPTa.

How I do it: anterior interhemispheric approach to tuberculum sellae meningiomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:643–648

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas are deep-seated tumors difficult to access, located in close relation with important neurovascular structures. While the transsphenoidal approach is linked to specific complications, the different reported transcranial approaches are associated with advantages and drawbacks due to the respective angle of attack, with some areas adequately exposed and others partially hidden.

Method We report the technical aspects of the anterior interhemispheric approach we practice.

Conclusion This approach has the advantage of providing full control over all the vasculo-nervous structures involved and of allowing access to the medial aspect of both optic canals tangentially to the dorsum sellae.

The endoscopic supraorbital translaminar approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:635–641

Resection of lesions located within the third ventricle presents a surgical challenge. Several approaches have been developed in an attempt to obtain maximal resection, while minimizing brain retraction. In this work, we assess the surgical exposure and maneuverability of the endoscopic supraorbital translaminar approach (ESTA), a potential alternative to fenestrate the lamina terminalis and approach the third ventricle by using the endoscope through a keyhole supraorbital-eyebrow craniotomy.

Methods Five cadaveric heads were used to assess the corridor depth, area of exposure, and viewing angles offered by the ESTA. One additional utilized specimen provided a stepwise dissection of the approach.

Results The ESTA was successfully performed in all specimens. Depth of the surgical corridor from the craniotomy to the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA), lamina terminalis, and contralateral carotid were 70.7 ± 2.9 mm, 73.2 ± 2.9 mm, and 78.9 ± 4.1 mm, respectively. Viewing angle referenced to the ipsilateral ICA was 6.5 ± 4.2°, while the viewing angle for the lamina terminalis was 25.8 ± 4.3°. The surgical exposure provided by the ESTA was 1655 ± 255 mm2.

Conclusions The ESTA provides a wide surgical view of the lamina terminalis and may be potentially used to approach lesions located in the anterior third of the third ventricle. As a pure endoscopic approach, the ESTA requires minimal brain retraction, while affords good visualization of targeted lesions around the lamina terminalis. The ESTA uses an anterolateral approach and so provides a short and straightforward approach to these structures.

The ipsilateral interhemispheric transprecuneal approach: microsurgical anatomy, indications, and neurosurgical applications

Neurosurgical Review (2021) 44:529–541

Surgical treatment of intraventricular lesions is challenging because of their deep location, vascularization, and their complex relationships with white matter fibers. The authors undertook this study to describe the microsurgical anatomy of the white matter fibers covering the lateral wall of the atrium and temporal horn and to demonstrate how the ipsilateral interhemispheric transprecuneal approach can be safely used to remove lesions of this region sparing the anatomo-functional integrity of the fibers themselves. A detailed description of the approach including operative measurements is also given.

The Klingler’ technique with progressive identification of white matter fibers covering the lateral wall of the atrium and temporal horn was performed on ten formalin-fixed human hemispheres. Then, ten fresh, non-formalin-fixed non-silicon-injected adult cadaveric heads were analyzed for the simulation of the ipsilateral interhemispheric transprecuneal approach. Three illustrative cases are presented. The simulation of the interhemispheric transprecuneal approach on ten fresh non-formalin-fixed specimens showed that a 10 to 20 mm corticotomy perpendicular to the parieto-occipital sulcus at the junction with the cingulum allows a wide corridor for the exposure of the entire atrial cavity and the posterior third of the temporal horn.

The ipsilateral interhemispheric transprecuneus approach represents a safe and effective option for tumors involving the atrium and the posterior third of the temporal horn.

Surgical anatomy and nuances of the extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum sellae approach: pearls and pitfalls for complications avoidance

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:399–405

Using the expanded endoscopic transtuberculum approach (EETA), the nuances of this technique have rendered a safe, direct, and feasible ventral corridor for the treatment of extending suprasellar pathologies. This study illustrates surgical landmarks and strategies of paramount importance for complications avoidance.

Methods This study presents the surgical anatomy and nuances of EETA, which can be used to remove large pituitary adenomas with suprasellar extension. Special references to cadaveric dissections highlight anatomical landmarks and surgical key points for complications avoidance.

Conclusion The EETA represents a versatile route for the treatment of sellar/suprasellar pathologies. Although, sizeable extrasellar pituitary tumors still pose a threat due to displacement/encasement of surrounding structures, necessitating accurate knowledge of correlative operative anatomy with traditional landmarks. Complete resection of extrasellar components is essential to avoid postoperative apoplexy.

Tailoring the surgical corridor to the basilar apex in the pretemporal transcavernous approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:2731–2741

The pretemporal transcavernous approach (PTA) provides optimal exposure and access to the basilar artery (BA); however, the PTA can be invasive when vital neurovascular structures are mobilized. The goal of this study was to evaluate mobilization strategies to tailor approaches to the BA.

Methods After an orbitozygomatic craniotomy, 10 sides of 5 cadaveric heads were used to assess the surgical access to the BA via the opticocarotid triangle (OCT), carotid-oculomotor triangle (COT), and oculomotor-tentorial triangle (OTT). Measurements were obtained, and morphometric analyses were performed for natural neurovascular positions and after each stepwise expansion maneuver. An imaginary line connecting the midpoints of the limbus sphenoidale and dorsum sellae was used as a reference to normalize the measurements of BA exposure and to facilitate the clinical applicability of this technique.

Results In the OCT, the exposed BA segment ranged from − 1 ± 3.9 to + 6 ± 2.0 mm in length in its natural position. In the COT, the accessible BA segment ranged from − 4 ± 2.3 to − 2 ± 3.0mmin length in its natural position. Via the OTT, the accessible BA segment ranged from − 7 ± 2.6 to − 5 ± 2.8 mm in length in its natural position. In the OCT, COT, and OTT, a posterior clinoidectomy extended the exposure down to − 6 ± 2.7, − 8 ± 2.5, and − 9 ± 2.9 mm, respectively.

Conclusions This study quantitatively evaluated the need for the expansion maneuvers in the PTA to reach BA aneurysms according to the patient’s anatomical characteristics.

Surgical morbidity of transsylvian versus transcortical approaches to insular gliomas

J Neurosurg 132:1731–1738, 2020

The choice of transsylvian versus transcortical corridors for resection of insular gliomas remains controversial. Functional pathway compromise from transcortical transgression and vascular injury during transsylvian dissection are the primary concerns. In this study, data from a single-center experience with both approaches were compared to determine whether one approach was associated with a higher rate of morbidity than the other.

METHODS The authors identified 100 consecutive patients who underwent resection of pure insular gliomas at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Volumetric analysis was performed using FLAIR and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI for low- and high-grade gliomas, respectively, for extent of resection (EOR) and diffusion-weighted sequences were used to detect for postoperative ischemia. Step-wise logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of neurological morbidity.

RESULTS Data from 100 patients with low-grade or high-grade insular gliomas were analyzed. Fifty-two patients (52%) underwent a transsylvian approach, and 48 patients (48%) underwent a transcortical approach. The mean (± SD) EOR was 91.6% ± 12.4% in the transsylvian group and 88.6% ± 14.2% in the transcortical group (p = 0.26). Clinical outcome metrics for the 2 groups were similar. Overall, 13 patients (25%) in the transsylvian group and 10 patients (21%) in the transcortical group had evidence of ischemia on postoperative MR images. For both approaches, high-grade histology was associated with permanent morbidity (p = 0.01). For patients with gliomas located within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula, development of postoperative ischemia was associated with only the transsylvian approach (46% vs 0%, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS Areas of restricted diffusion are common on postoperative MRI following resection of insular gliomas, but only a minority of these patients develop permanent neurological deficits. Insular glioma patients with high-grade histology may be at particular risk for developing symptomatic postoperative ischemia. Both the transcortical and transsylvian corridors are associated with reasonable morbidity profiles, although gliomas situated within the superior-posterior quadrant of the insula are more safely accessed with a transcortical approach.


Surgical outcomes of anterior cerebellopontine angle meningiomas using the anterior transpetrosal approach compared with the lateral suboccipital approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:1243–1248

Anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) and lateral suboccipital approach (LSO) are the major surgical approaches for cerebellopontine angle (CPA) meningiomas. Particularly, anterior CPA meningiomas are challenging lesions to be treated surgically. To date, only a few studies have directly compared the outcomes of both approaches focusing on the anterior CPA meningiomas.

Methods For the comparative analysis, anterior CPA meningiomas that were eligible for both APTA and LSO were collected in our hospital from April 2005 to March 2017. Anterior CPA meningiomas targeted for this study were defined as follows: (1) without cavernous sinus, clivus, and middle cranial fossa extension, (2) the posterior edge is 1 cm behind the posterior wall of the internal auditory canal, and (3) the inferior edge is above the jugular tuberculum. Based on these criteria, the operative outcomes of 17 patients and 13 patients who were operated via ATPA and LSO were evaluated.

Results The complication rate of the LSO group was significantly higher than that of the ATPA group (30.7% vs. 0%, p = 0.033). The removal rate did not differ between the ATPA and LSO groups (97.35% vs. 99.23%, p = 0.12). The operative time was significantly shorter in the LSO group than in the ATPA group (304.3 min vs. 405.8 min, p = 0.036).

Conclusions Although the LSO is more widely used for CPA meningiomas, ATPA is also considered for these anterior CPA meningiomas.

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