J Neurosurg 138:1653–1661, 2023
Trigeminal schwannoma is a rare CNS tumor and involves the multicompartmental skull base. Recently, the endoscopic transorbital approach (ETOA) has emerged as a technique for minimally invasive surgery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the optimal indications and clinical outcomes of the ETOA for trigeminal schwannomas based on their tumor classification.
METHODS Between September 2016 and February 2022, the ETOA was performed in 50 patients with trigeminal schwannoma at four tertiary hospitals. There were 15 men and 35 women in the study, with a mean age of 46.9 years. All tumors were classified as type A (predominantly involving the middle cranial fossa), type B (predominantly involving the posterior cranial fossa), type C (dumbbell-shaped tumors involving the middle and posterior fossa), or type D (involvement of the extracranial compartment). Type D tumors were also subclassified by ophthalmic division (D1), maxillary division (D2), and mandibular division (D3). Clinical outcome was analyzed, including extent of resection and surgical morbidities.
RESULTS In this study, overall gross-total resection (GTR) was performed in 35 (70.0%) of 50 patients and near-total resection (NTR) in 9 patients (18.0%). The mean follow-up period was 21.9 (range 1–61.7) months. There was no tumor regrowth or recurrence during the follow-up period. Based on the classification, there were 17 type A tumors, 20 type C, and 13 type D. There were no type B tumors. Of the 13 type D tumors, 7 were D1, 1 D2, and 5 D3. For type A tumors, GTR or NTR was achieved using an ETOA in 16 (94.1%) of 17 patients. Eighteen (90.0%) of 20 patients with type C tumors attained GTR or NTR. Ten (76.9%) of 13 patients with type D tumors underwent GTR. Statistical analysis showed that there was no significant difference in the extent of resection among the tumor subtypes. Surgical complications included transient partial ptosis (n = 4), permanent ptosis (n = 1), transient diplopia (n = 7), permanent diplopia (n = 1), corneal keratopathy (n = 7), difficulties in mastication (n = 5), and neuralgic pain or paresthesia (n = 14). There were no postoperative CSF leaks or enophthalmos during follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS This study showed that trigeminal schwannomas can be effectively treated with a minimally invasive ETOA in all tumor types, except those predominantly involving the posterior fossa (type B). For the extracranial compartments, D2 or D3 tumor types often require an ETOA combined with the endoscopic endonasal approach, while D1 tumor types can be treated using an ETOA alone.