Clinical classification of clival chordomas for transnasal approaches

Neurosurgical Review (2020) 43:1201–1210

Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) are ideal for most chordomas, but there is little information regarding the practical clinical classification of clival chordomas to guide surgery with EEAs. This article investigates a relatively concise and practical clinical classification system for clival chordomas and summarizes the clinical characteristics and operative key points of different clinical types.

Here, 55 patients with clival chordomas treated through EEAs from 2012 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Depending on the origin of the notochord and the growth pattern of the tumor, with our introduced Wang’s line, these cases of clival chordoma were divided into types I–IV. There were 14 cases of type I-A, 7 cases of type I-B, 10 cases of type II, 10 cases of type III-A, 7 cases of type III-B, and 7 cases of type IV. The gross total resection (GTR) rate of primary and recurrent type I tumors was 64% and 25%, and residual tumors were found mainly in cases with involvement of the cavernous sinus or the posterior upper part of the dorsum sella. The GTR rate of primary and recurrent type II tumors was 85% and 66.6%, respectively. Residual tumors were found in cases with involvement of the petrous apex. The GTR rate of primary and recurrent type III tumors was 75%and 20%, and residual tumors were found in cases with involvement of the parapharyngeal space and dorsal side of C1– 2. Residual type I-B and type III-B tumors were found when there was BA or VA adhesion or brain stem invasion.

Our new classification method proposed here can be used to guide the resection of clival chordomas through EEAs.

Surgical results of an endoscopic endonasal approach for clival chordomas

Acta Neurochir (2012) 154:879–886. DOI 10.1007/s00701-012-1317-1

The surgical approaches for clival chordomas remain controversial, although the extent of resection is one of the most important factors for long survival rates. Recently an endoscopic endonasal approach in good collaboration with otolaryngologists has attracted major attention as a surgical approach for clival chordomas. We describe our experience with the endoscopic endonasal approach and provide a review of the literature.

Methods Between 2008 and 2011, six operations were performed via the endoscopic endonasal approach for clivus chordomas. The mean tumor size was 35 mm in diameter. The tumor location was mainly from the upper to middle clivus. The tumor extended into the cavernous sinus in five cases and intradurally in three cases. A binostril approach was performed in four cases, while a one nostril approach was performed in two cases.

Results Gross total removal was achieved in three cases. The analysis of cases with incomplete resection suggested that residual tumors were observed epidurally and subdurally. The residual on the epidura was observed from the posterior clinoid to the posterior compartment of the cavernous sinus. On the other hand, the residual on the subdural was observed behind the upper part of the pituitary gland. There was no postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage using vascularized nasoseptal flaps in any of the cases.

Conclusions The endoscopic endonasal transclival approach allows an appropriate extent of resection with acceptable complication rates in comparison with other approaches. In our series, the accomplishment of gross total removal was associated with the relationship between the tumors and surrounding structures, such as the pituitary gland and the cavernous portion of the intracranial carotid artery (ICA).

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