The Endoscopic Lateral Transorbital Approach for the Removal of Select Sphenoid Wing and Middle Fossa Meningiomas. Surgical Technique and Short-Term Outcomes

Operative Neurosurgery 26:165–172, 2024

The endoscopic lateral transorbital approach (eLTOA) is a relatively new approach to the skull base that has only recently been applied in vivo in the management of complex skull base pathology. Most meningiomas removed with this approach have been in the spheno-orbital location. We present a series of select purely sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas removed through eLTOA. The objective here was to describe the selection criteria and results of eLTOA for a subset of sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study based on a prospectively maintained database of consecutive cases of eLTOA operated on at our institution by the lead author. The cohort’s clinical and radiographic characteristics and outcome are presented.

RESULTS: Five patients underwent eLTOA to remove 3 sphenoid wing and 2 middle fossa meningiomas. The mean tumor volume was 11.9 cm3 . Gross total resection was achieved in all cases. There were no intraoperative complications. Postoperatively, there was one case of subretinal hemorrhage, which was corrected by open vitrectomy repair, and one case of cerebrospinal fluid leak, which resolved with lumbar drainage. Three patients presented with visual impairment, 1 improved, 1 remained stable, and 1 worsened, but returned to stable after vitrectomy repair. All patients have been free of disease at a median follow-up of 8.9 months.

CONCLUSION: eLTOA provides a direct minimal access corridor to certain well-selected sphenoid wing and middle fossa meningiomas. eLTOA minimizes brain retraction and provides a high rate of gross total resection. Meningiomas appropriately selected based on size, type, and location of dural attachment, and the eLTOA is a safe, rapid, and highly effective procedure with acceptable morbidity.

Hospital cost differences between open and endoscopic lumbar spine decompression surgery

J Neurosurg Spine 40:77–83, 2024

In recent years, fully endoscopic decompression surgery for degenerative spine disease has become increasingly popular in the US. Although an endoscopic approach has demonstrated some benefits compared with open procedures in randomized controlled trials, the cost of advanced technologies remains contested. The authors evaluated the differences in costs and cost drivers between open and endoscopic decompression surgical procedures performed at a single institution.

METHODS Using associated Current Procedural Terminology codes, the authors identified all open and endoscopic decompression lumbar surgical procedures performed from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2022. Preoperative comorbidities, surgical characteristics, and postoperative outcomes were captured. The costs of index surgery–related readmission for revision, washout, or other complications were included in the index surgery expenses. Associated inhospital costs were collected; these were reported in comparative percentages with open surgical procedures as the baseline because of an institutional agreement. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.

RESULTS The retrospective search identified 633 open surgical procedures and 195 endoscopic surgical procedures for inclusion. The two patient cohorts were similar, with clinically nonrelevant but statistically significant differences in mean age (open 55.7 years vs endoscopic 59.4 years, p = 0.01) and mean American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status class (open 2.3 vs endoscopic 2.4, p = 0.03). Postoperatively, patients who underwent open surgical procedures had significantly longer mean hospital stays (open 1.4 days vs endoscopic 0.7, p < 0.01) and more perioperative complications (open 7.9% of patients vs endoscopic 3.1%, p = 0.02), and they required washout surgical procedures in some cases (open 1.3% vs endoscopic 0%, p = 0.12). The largest cost difference between open and endoscopic surgical procedures was the significantly greater cost of disposable supplies for endoscopic cases (10.1% vs 31.7% of the total cost of open procedures, p < 0.01), and open surgical procedures were generally less costly in total (100.0% vs 115.1%, p < 0.01). In multivariate linear regression, endoscopic surgery was independently associated with greater total costs (standardized beta 15.9%, p < 0.01), although length of hospital stay (standardized beta 34.0%) and readmissions (standardized beta 30.0%, p < 0.01) had larger effects on cost.

CONCLUSIONS The endoscopic approach was associated with greater total in-hospital costs compared with open procedures. The findings of further cost evaluations, including those of patient-reported outcomes, social cost, and capital costs per procedure type, need to be included in operational and clinical decisions.

International Tuberculum Sellae Meningioma Study: Surgical Outcomes and Management Trends

Neurosurgery 93:1259–1270, 2023

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas (TSMs) can be resected through transcranial (TCA) or expanded endonasal approach (EEA). The objective of this study was to report TSM management trends and outcomes in a large multicenter cohort.

METHODS: This is a 40-site retrospective study using standard statistical methods.

RESULTS: In 947 cases, TCA was used 66.4% and EEA 33.6%. The median maximum diameter was 2.5 cm for TCA and 2.1 cm for EEA (P < .0001). The median follow-up was 26 months. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 70.2% and did not differ between EEA and TCA (P = .5395). Vision was the same or better in 87.5%. Vision improved in 73.0% of EEA patients with preoperative visual deficits compared with 57.1% of TCA patients (P < .0001). On multivariate analysis, a TCA (odds ratio [OR] 1.78, P = .0258) was associated with vision worsening, while GTR was protective (OR 0.37, P < .0001). GTR decreased with increased diameter (OR: 0.80 per cm, P = .0036) and preoperative visual deficits (OR 0.56, P = .0075). Mortality was 0.5%. Complications occurred in 23.9%. New unilateral or bilateral blindness occurred in 3.3% and 0.4%, respectively. The cerebrospinal fluid leak rate was 17.3% for EEA and 2.2% for TCA (OR 9.1, P < .0001). The recurrence rate was 10.9% (n= 103). Longer follow-up (OR 1.01 per month, P < .0001), World Health Organization II/III (OR 2.20, P = .0262), and GTR (OR: 0.33, P < .0001) were associated with recurrence. The recurrence rate after GTR was lower after EEA compared with TCA (OR 0.33, P = .0027).

CONCLUSION: EEA for appropriately selected TSM may lead to better visual outcomes and decreased recurrence rates after GTR, but cerebrospinal fluid leak rates are high, and longer follow-up is needed. Tumors were smaller in the EEA group, and follow-up was shorter, reflecting selection, and observation bias. Nevertheless, EEA may be superior to TCA for appropriately selected TSM.

Utility of minimally invasive endoscopic skull base approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

J Neurosurg 139:1604–1612, 2023

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is an important cause of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in adults and children. Traditionally, the surgical option of choice for mTLE includes a frontotemporal craniotomy and open resection of the anterior temporal cortex and mesial temporal structures. Although this technique is effective and durable, the neuropsychological morbidity resulting from temporal neocortical resections has resulted in the investigation of alternative approaches to resect the mesial temporal structures to achieve seizure freedom while minimizing postoperative cognitive deficits. Outcomes supporting the use of selective temporal resections have resulted in alternative approaches to directly access the mesial temporal structures via endoscopic approaches whose direct trajectory to the epileptogenic zone minimizes retraction, resection, and manipulation of surrounding cortex.

The authors reviewed the utility of the endoscopic transmaxillary, endoscopic endonasal, endoscopic transorbital, and endoscopic supracerebellar transtentorial approaches for the treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. First, a review of the literature demonstrated the anatomical feasibility of each approach, including the limits of exposure provided by each trajectory. Next, clinical data assessing the safety and effectiveness of these techniques in the treatment of DRE were analyzed. An outline of the surgical techniques is provided to highlight the technical nuances of each approach.

The direct access to mesial temporal structures and avoidance of lateral temporal manipulation makes endoscopic approaches promising alternatives to traditional methods for the treatment of DRE arising from the temporal pole and mesial temporal lobe. A dearth of literature outlining clinical outcomes, a need for qualified cosurgeons, and a lack of experience with endoscopic approaches remain major barriers to widespread application of the aforementioned techniques. Future studies are warranted to define the utility of these approaches moving forward.

International Tuberculum Sellae Meningioma Study: Preoperative Grading Scale to Predict Outcomes and Propensity-Matched Outcomes by Endonasal Versus Transcranial Approach

Neurosurgery 93:1271–1284, 2023

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas are resected via an expanded endonasal (EEA) or transcranial approach (TCA). Which approach provides superior outcomes is debated. The Magill–McDermott (M-M) grading scale evaluating tumor size, optic canal invasion, and arterial involvement remains to be validated for outcome prediction. The objective of this study was to validate the M-M scale for predicting visual outcome, extent of resection (EOR), and recurrence, and to use propensity matching by M-M scale to determine whether visual outcome, EOR, or recurrence differ between EEA and TCA.

METHODS: Forty-site retrospective study of 947 patients undergoing tuberculum sellae meningiomas resection. Standard statistical methods and propensity matching were used.

RESULTS: The M-M scale predicted visual worsening (odds ratio [OR]/point: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.02-1.46, P = .0271) and gross total resection (GTR) (OR/point: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.62-0.81, P < .0001), but not recurrence (P = .4695). The scale was simplified and validated in an independent cohort for predicting visual worsening (OR/point: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.33-4.14, P = .0032) and GTR (OR/point: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57-0.93, P = .0127), but not recurrence (P = .2572). In propensity-matched samples, there was no difference in visual worsening (P = .8757) or recurrence (P = .5678) between TCA and EEA, but GTR was more likely with TCA (OR: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.02-2.18, P = .0409). Matched patients with preoperative visual deficits who had an EEA were more likely to have visual improvement than those undergoing TCA (72.9% vs 58.4%, P = .0010) with equal rates of visual worsening (EEA 8.0% vs TCA 8.6%, P = .8018).

CONCLUSION: The refined M-M scale predicts visual worsening and EOR preoperatively. Preoperative visual deficits are more likely to improve after EEA; however, individual tumor features must be considered during nuanced approach selection by experienced neurosurgeons.

Endoscopic far‑lateral supracerebellar infratentorial approach for resection of dumbbell‑shaped trigeminal schwannoma

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:2913–2921

Trigeminal schwannomas (TSs) are mostly benign tumors. However, dumbbell-shaped TSs are most challenging for surgeons and pose a high surgical risk.

Objective We describe the technique of the purely endoscopic far-lateral supracerebellar infratentorial approach (EFLSCITA) for removing dumbbell-shaped TSs and further discuss the feasibility of this approach and our experience. Methods EFL-SCITA was performed for resection of 5 TSs between January 2020 and March 2023. The entire procedure was performed endoscopically with the goal of total tumor resection. During the operation, the tumor was exposed in close proximity and multiple angles under the endoscope, and the peri-tumor nerves were carefully identified and protected, especially the normal trigeminal fiber bundles around the tumor.

Results All the tumors of 5 patients involved the middle and posterior cranial fossa, of which total removal was achieved in 2 patients and near-total removal in 3 patients. The most common preoperative symptoms were relieved after surgery. Two patients had postoperative mild facial paralysis (House-Brackmann grade II), and 1 patient had abducens palsy; both recovered during the follow-up period. Two patients experienced new postoperative facial hypesthesia, and 1 experienced mastication weakness, which did not recover. There was no tumor recurrence or residual tumor growth during the follow-up period in any of the patients.

Conclusion EFL-SCITA is a new and effective alternative for the surgical treatment of TSs. For dumbbell-shaped TSs, this approach provides sufficient surgical field exposure and freedom of operation.

Endoscopic Placement of Intracystic Catheters

Operative Neurosurgery 25:E1–E5, 2023

Intraventricular neuroendoscopic surgery for tumor resection, biopsy, or cyst fenestration frequently requires precise placement of an intraventricular or intracystic catheter. Placement under direct visualization is not feasible because of small bore of working channel of the standard small ventriculoscope. Various techniques have been reported using a separate transcortical trajectory, endoluminal endoscope, or endovascular guide wire.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a technique allowing precise placement of intraventricular/intracystic catheter using a small bore working ventriculoscope, without need for additional equipment.

METHODS: Description of the technique including intraoperative photographs, video, and illustrative cases are provided.

RESULTS: The peel-away sheath is peeled off approximately 1 to 2 cm to allow for the shaft of the endoscope to pass past its tip. Ventricular access is gained using the peel-away sheath. After the stylet is removed, the peel-away sheath is not peeled further or stapled to the skin. The endoscope is introduced into the ventricle through the peel-away sheath. After the required intraventricular work is performed, the endoscope is maneuvered into the location of the desired catheter position. The peel-away sheath is slowly advanced over the stationary endoscope past its tip. While the peelaway sheath is being held in place, the endoscope is removed. After the catheter has been introduced into the peel-away sheath to a premeasured depth, the peel-away sheath is peeled and removed. The catheter is then connected to collection system, reservoir or shunt system.

CONCLUSION: The current technique allows for the precise placement of intraventricular/intracystic catheters without the need for additional equipment or a separate transcortical trajectory.


How dimensions can guide surgical planning and training: a systematic review of Kambin’s triangle

Neurosurg Focus 54(1):E6, 2023

OBJECTIVE The authors sought to analyze the current literature to determine dimensional trends across the lumbar levels of Kambin’s triangle, clarify the role of imaging techniques for preoperative planning, and understand the effect of inclusion of the superior articular process (SAP). This compiled knowledge of the triangle is needed to perform successful procedures, reduce nerve root injuries, and help guide surgeons in training.

METHODS The authors performed a search of multiple databases using combinations of keywords: Kambin’s triangle, size, measurement, safe triangle, and bony triangle. Articles were included if their main findings included measurement of Kambin’s triangle. The PubMed, Scopus, Ovid, Cochrane, Embase, and Medline databases were systematically searched for English-language articles with no time frame restrictions through July 2022.

RESULTS Eight studies comprising 132 patients or cadavers were included in the study. The mean ± SD age was 66.69 ± 9.6 years, and 53% of patients were male. Overall, the size of Kambin’s triangle increased in area moving down vertebral levels, with L5–S1 being the largest (133.59 ± 4.36 mm 2 ). This trend followed a linear regression model when SAP was kept (p = 0.008) and removed (p = 0.003). There was also a considerable increase in the size of Kambin’s triangle if the SAP was removed.

CONCLUSIONS Here, the authors have provided the first reported systematic review of the literature of Kambin’s triangle, its measurements at each lumbar level, and key areas of debate related to the definition of the working safe zone. These findings indicate that CT is heavily utilized for imaging of the safe zone, the area of Kambin’s triangle tends to increase caudally, and variation exists between patients. Future studies should focus on using advanced imaging techniques for preoperative planning and establishing guidelines for surgeons.

Surgical management of colloid cysts of the third ventricle: a single-institution comparison of endoscopic and microsurgical resection

J Neurosurg 137:905–913, 2022

Colloid cysts of the third ventricle are histologically benign lesions that can cause obstructive hydrocephalus and death. Historically, colloid cysts have been removed by open microsurgical approaches. More recently, minimally invasive endoscopic and port-based techniques have offered decreased complications and length of stay, with improved patient satisfaction.

METHODS A single-center retrospective analysis of patients with colloid cysts who underwent surgery at a large tertiary care hospital was performed. The cohort was assessed based on the surgical approach, comparing endoscopic resection to open microsurgical resection. The primary endpoint was rate of perioperative complications. Univariate analysis was used to assess several procedure-related variables and the cost of treatment. Multivariate analysis was used to assess predictors of perioperative complications. Total inpatient cost for each case was extracted from the health system financial database.

RESULTS The study included 78 patients with colloid cysts who underwent resection either via an endoscopic approach (n = 33) or through a craniotomy (n = 45) with an interhemispheric-transcallosal or transcortical-transventricular approach. Nearly all patients were symptomatic, and half had obstructive hydrocephalus. Endoscopic resection was associated with reduced operative time (3.2 vs 4.9 hours, p < 0.001); lower complication rate (6.1% vs 33.1%, p = 0.009); reduced length of stay (4.1 vs 8.9 days, p < 0.001); and improved discharge to home (100% vs 75.6%, p = 0.008) compared to microsurgical resection. Coagulated residual cyst wall remnants were more common after endoscopic resection (63.6% vs 19.0%, p < 0.001) although this was not associated with a significantly increased rate of reoperation for recurrence. The mean follow-up was longer in the microsurgical resection group (3.1 vs 4.9 years, p = 0.016). The total inpatient cost of endoscopic resection was, on average, one-half (47%) that of microsurgical resection. When complications were encountered, the total inpatient cost of microsurgical resection was 4 times greater than that of endoscopic resection where no major complications were observed. The increased cost-effectiveness of endoscopic resection remained during reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS Endoscopic resection of colloid cysts of the third ventricle offers a significant reduction in perioperative complications when compared to microsurgical resection. Endoscopic resection optimizes nearly all procedure-related variables compared to microsurgical resection, and reduces total inpatient cost by > 50%. However, endoscopic resection is associated with a significantly increased likelihood of residual coagulated cyst wall remnants that could increase the rate of reoperation for recurrence. Taken together, endoscopic resection represents a safe and effective minimally invasive approach for removal of colloid cysts.

Dumbbell-shaped pituitary adenomas: prognostic factors for prediction of tumor nondescent of the supradiaphragmal component from a multicenter series

J Neurosurg 137:609–617, 2022

Dumbbell-shaped pituitary adenomas (DSPAs) are a subgroup of macroadenomas with suprasellar extension that are characterized by a smaller diameter at the level of the diaphragma sellae opening compared with the supradiaphragmal tumor component (SDTC). Hence, DSPAs may be particularly prone to a nondescending suprasellar tumor component and risk for residual tumor or postoperative bleeding.

METHODS A multicenter retrospective cohort analysis of 99 patients with DSPA operated on via direct endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach between 2011 and 2020 was conducted. Patient recruitment was performed at two tertiary care centers (Medical University of Vienna and University of Southern California) with expertise in endoscopic skull base surgery. DSPA was defined as having a smaller diameter at the level of the diaphragma sellae compared with the SDTC.

RESULTS On preoperative MRI, all DSPAs were macroadenomas (maximum diameter range 17–71 mm, volume range 2–88 cm 3 ). Tumor descent was found in 73 (74%) of 99 patients (group A), and nondescent in 26 (26%) of 99 patients (group B) intraoperatively. DSPAs in group A had a significantly smaller diameter (30 vs 42 mm, p < 0.001) and significantly smaller volume (10 vs 22 cm 3 , p < 0.001) than those in group B. The ratio of the minimum area at the level of the diaphragmal opening in comparison with the maximum area of the suprasellar tumor component (“neck-to-dome area”) was significantly lower in group A than in group B (1.7 vs 2.7, p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed an area under the curve of 0.75 (95% CI 0.63–0.87). At a cutoff ratio of 1.9, the sensitivity and specificity for a nondescending suprasellar tumor component were 77% and 34%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS In the present study, the neck-to-dome area ratio was of prognostic value for prediction of intraoperative tumor nondescent in DSPAs operated on via a direct endonasal endoscopic approach. Pituitary adenoma SDTC nondescent carried the inherent risk of hemorrhagic transformation in all cases.

Evaluation of early postoperative day 1 discharge after endoscopic endonasal pituitary adenoma resection

J Neurosurg 136:1337–1346, 2022

While multiple studies have evaluated the length of stay after endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETS) for pituitary adenoma, the potential for early discharge on postoperative day 1 (POD 1) remains unclear. The authors compared patients discharged on POD 1 with patients discharged on POD > 1 to better characterize factors that facilitate early discharge after ETS.

METHODS A retrospective chart review was performed for patients undergoing ETS for pituitary adenoma at a single tertiary care academic center from February 2005 to February 2020. Discharge on POD 1 was defined as a discharge within 24 hours of surgery.

RESULTS A total of 726 patients (mean age 55 years, 52% male) were identified, of whom 178 (24.5%) patients were discharged on POD 1. These patients were more likely to have pituitary incidentaloma (p = 0.001), require dural substitutes and DuraSeal (p = 0.0001), have fewer intraoperative CSF leaks (p = 0.02), and have lower postoperative complication rates (p = 0.006) compared with patients discharged on POD > 1. POD 1 patients also showed higher rates of macroadenomas (96.1% vs 91.4%, p = 0.03) and lower rates of functional tumors (p = 0.02). POD > 1 patients were more likely to have readmission within 30 days (p = 0.002), readmission after 30 days (p = 0.0001), nasal synechiae on follow-up (p = 0.003), diabetes insipidus (DI; 1.7% vs 9.8%, p = 0.0001), postoperative hypocortisolism (21.8% vs 12.1%, p = 0.01), and postoperative steroid usage (44.6% vs 59.7%, p = 0.003). The number of patients discharged on POD 1 significantly increased during each subsequent time epoch: 2005–2010, 2011–2015, and 2016–2020 (p = 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, DI (OR 7.02, 95% CI 2.01–24.57; p = 0.002) and intraoperative leak (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.25–3.28; p = 0.004) were associated with increased risk for POD > 1 discharge, while operation epoch (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.3–0.71; p = 0.0001) was associated with POD 1 discharge.

CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates that discharge on POD 1 after ETS for pituitary adenomas was safe and feasible and without increased risk of 30-day readmission. On multivariate analysis, surgical epoch was associated with decreased risk of prolonged length of stay, while factors associated with increased risk of prolonged length of stay included DI and intraoperative CSF leak. These findings may help in selecting patients who are deemed reasonable for safe, early discharge after pituitary adenoma resection.

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.

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.

Endoscopic Transnasal Trans-Sphenoidal Approach for Pituitary Adenomas: A Comparison to the Microscopic Approach Cohort by Propensity Score Analysis

Neurosurgery DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyz201

Despite some evidence for the adoption of endoscopic transnasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) for pituitary adenomas, the advantages of this technique over the traditional approach have not been robustly confirmed.

OBJECTIVE: To compare ETSS with the microscopic sublabial trans-septal transsphenoidal surgery (MTSS) for pituitary adenomas.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 2 cohorts of ETSS and MTSS performed at our institution from 1995 to 2017. Patient characteristics, surgical data, and outcomes were recorded prospectively. We performed a univariate and multivariable analysis to determine the best surgical approach. To improve the quality of the results, we matched the distribution of patient characteristics between groups by propensity score (PS) method.

RESULTS: A total of 187 procedures (90 MTSS, 97 ETSS) were reviewed. We found better results in the ETSS group in terms of gross total resection (P = .002) and hormone-excess secretion control (P=.014). There was also a lower incidence of cerebrospinal fluid leakage (P = .039), transitory diabetes insipidus (P = .028), and postoperative hypopituitarism (P = .045), as well as a shorter hospital length of stay (P < .001). After PS matching, we confirmed by multivariable logistic regression analysis an increased odds ratio of gross total resection for the ETSS (3.910; 95% CI 1.720-8.889; P= .001).

CONCLUSION: By PS method, our results suggest that the ETSS provides advantages over the traditional MTSS approach for tumor resection. Better control of secreting tumors and a lower rate of most complications also support the selection of the ETSS approach for the treatment of pituitary adenomas.

Fully endoscopic microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

J Neurosurg 131:813–819, 2019

Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is characterized by involuntary tonic and/or clonic contractions of facial nerve muscles. Fully endoscopic microvascular decompression (E-MVD) for HFS has not been widely adopted. This paper aims to illustrate the safety and efficacy of the fully endoscopic technique for HFS treatment.

METHODS The authors conducted a single-center retrospective study of 27 patients (28 separate E-MVD cases; 1 patient had bilateral E-MVD) diagnosed with HFS who underwent fully E-MVD from January 2013 to October 2016. Intraoperative brainstem auditory evoked potentials and lateral spread resolution were reviewed. Outcome was based on the clinical status of the patient at the last contact point with the senior author. Complications were categorized as facial weakness, hearing loss, ataxia, dysphagia, or any adverse event able to be attributed to the surgical procedure.

RESULTS HFS was relieved either completely or partially in the majority of cases (24 of 28, 85.7%). Of the 28 separate procedures, 17 (60.7%) resulted in complete resolution of symptoms, 4 (14.3%) resulted in near-complete resolution, 2 (7.1%) resulted in 50% reduction of symptoms, 1 (3.6%) resulted in minimal reduction, and 4 (14.3%) resulted in no relief. Of the 27 patients, 26 (96%) had no permanent postoperative complications. In multivariate logistic regression, the best predictor of greater than 50% resolution of spasm was resolution of intraoperative lateral spread response.

CONCLUSIONS A fully E-MVD for HFS provides a safe and comprehensive view of the neurovascular conflict. Exclusive use of the endoscope in MVD is both safe and feasible in the treatment of HFS. Attention to lateral spread response monitoring remains an integral part of comprehensive neurosurgical management.

Endoscopic endonasal odontoid resection with real-time intraoperative image-guided computed tomography

J Neurosurg 128:1486–1491, 2018

The authors present 4 cases in which they used intraoperative CT (iCT) scanning to provide real-time image guidance during endonasal odontoid resection. While intraoperative CT has previously been used as a confirmatory test after resection, to the authors’ knowledge this is the first time it has been used to provide real-time image guidance during endonasal odontoid resection. The operating room setup, as well as the advantages and pitfalls of this approach, are discussed.

A mobile intraoperative CT scanner was used in conjunction with real-time craniospinal neuronavigation in 4 patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal odontoidectomy for basilar invagination. All patients underwent a successful decompression.

In 3 of the 4 patients, real-time intraoperative CT image guidance was instrumental in achieving a comprehensive decompression. In 3 (75%) cases in which the right nostril was the predominant working channel, there was a tendency for asymmetrical decompression toward the right side, meaning that residual bone was seen on the left, which was subsequently removed prior to completion of the surgery.

Endoscopic endonasal odontoid resection with real-time intraoperative image-guided CT scanning is feasible and provides accurate intraoperative localization of pathology, thereby increasing the chance of a complete odontoidectomy. For right-handed surgeons operating predominantly through the right nostril, special attention should be paid to the contralateral side of the resection, where there is often a tendency for residual pathology.

Endonasal endoscopic pituitary surgery in the elderly

J Neurosurg 128:429–436, 2018

Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing tumors that cause symptoms either through mass effect or hormone overproduction. The decision to operate on a healthy young person is relatively straightforward. In the elderly population, however, the risks of complications may increase, rendering the decision more complex. Few studies have documented the risks of surgery using the endonasal endoscopic approach in a large number of elderly patients. The purpose of this study was to audit a single center’s data regarding outcomes of purely endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal resection of pituitary adenomas in elderly patients and to compare them to the current literature.

METHODS A retrospective review of a prospectively acquired database of all endonasal endoscopic surgeries done by the senior authors was queried for patients aged 60–69 years and for those aged 70 years or older. Demographic and radiographic preoperative data were reviewed. Outcomes with respect to extent of resection and complications were examined and compared with appropriate statistical tests.

RESULTS A total of 135 patents were identified (81 aged 60–69 years and 54 aged 70 years or older [70+]). The average tumor diameter was slightly larger for the patients in the 70+ age group (mean [SD] 25.7 ± 9.2 mm) than for patients aged 60–69 years (23.1 ± 9.8 mm, p = 0.056). There was no significant difference in intraoperative blood loss (p > 0.99), length of stay (p = 0.22), or duration of follow-up (p = 0.21) between the 2 groups. There was a 7.4% complication rate in patients aged 60–69 years (3 nasal and 3 medical complications) and an 18.5% complication rate in patients older than 70 years (4 cranial, 3 nasal, 1 visual, and 2 medical complications; p = 0.05 overall and 0.013 for cranial complications). Cranial complications in the 70+ age category included 2 postoperative hematomas, 1 pseudoaneurysm formation, and 1 case of symptomatic subdural hygromas.

CONCLUSIONS Endonasal endoscopic surgery in elderly patients is safe, but there is a graded increase in complication rates with increasing age. The decision to operate on an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patient in these age groups should take this increasing complication rate into account. The use of a lumbar drain or lumbar punctures should be weighed against the risk of subdural hematoma in patients with preexisting atrophy.

Endoscopic endonasal versus transcranial approach to tuberculum sellae and planum sphenoidale meningiomas

J Neurosurg 128:40–48, 2018

Planum sphenoidale (PS) and tuberculum sellae (TS) meningiomas cause visual symptoms due to compression of the optic chiasm. The treatment of choice is surgical removal with the goal of improving vision and achieving complete tumor removal. Two options exist to remove these tumors: the transcranial approach (TCA) and the endonasal endoscopic approach (EEA). Significant controversy exists regarding which approach provides the best results and whether there is a subset of patients for whom an EEA may be more suitable. Comparisons using a similar cohort of patients, namely, those suitable for gross-total resection with EEA, are lacking from the literature.

METHODS The authors reviewed all cases of PS and TS meningiomas that were surgically removed at Weill Cornell Medical College between 2000 and 2015 (TCA) and 2008 and 2015 (EEA). All cases were shown to a panel of 3 neurosurgeons to find only those tumors that could be removed equally well either through an EEA or TCA to standardize both groups. Volumetric measurements of preoperative and postoperative tumor size, FLAIR images, and apparent diffusion coefficient maps were assessed by 2 independent reviewers and compared to assess extent of resection and trauma to the surrounding brain. Visual outcome and complications were also compared.

RESULTS Thirty-two patients were identified who underwent either EEA (n = 17) or TCA (n = 15). The preoperative tumor size was comparable (mean 5.58 ± 3.42 vs 5.04 ± 3.38 cm3 [± SD], p = 0.661). The average extent of resection achieved was not significantly different between the 2 groups (98.80% ± 3.32% vs 95.13% ± 11.69%, p = 0.206). Postoperatively, the TCA group demonstrated a significant increase in the FLAIR/edema signal compared with EEA patients (4.15 ± 7.10 vs -0.69 ± 2.73 cm3, p = 0.014). In addition, the postoperative diffusion-weighted imaging signal of cytotoxic ischemic damage was significantly higher in the TCA group than in the EEA group (1.88 ± 1.96 vs 0.40 ± 0.55 cm3, p = 0.008). Overall, significantly more EEA patients experienced improved or stable visual outcomes compared with TCA patients (93% vs 56%, p = 0.049). Visual deterioration was greater after TCA than EEA (44% vs 0%, p = 0.012). While more patients experienced postoperative seizures after TCA than after EEA (27% vs 0%, p = 0.038), there was a trend toward more CSF leakage and anosmia after EEA than after TCA (11.8% vs 0%, p = 0.486 and 11.8% vs 0%, p = 0.118, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS In this small single-institution study of similarly sized and located PS and TS meningiomas, EEA provided equivalent rates of resection with better visual results, less trauma to the brain, and fewer seizures. These preliminary results merit further investigation in a larger multiinstitutional study and may support EEA resection by experienced surgeons in a subset of carefully selected PS and TS meningiomas.

Endoscopic treatment of middle fossa arachnoid cysts

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:2313–2317

Endoscopic treatment of middle fossa arachnoid cysts is an alternative option to microsurgical fenestration and shunting procedures. The procedure is minimally invasive and obviates the morbidity of craniotomy and shunting.

Methods Operative charts and videos of patients undergoing endoscopic fenestration of middle fossa arachnoid cysts were retrieved from the senior author’s database of endoscopic procedures and reviewed. Description of the surgical techniques was then formulated.

Conclusions Endoscopic fenestration of middle fossa arachnoid cysts entails communicating the cyst cavity to the basal cisterns via multiple fenestrations that should be made as large as possible with care to avoid injury of the juxtaposed neurovascular structures.

Limitations of the endonasal endoscopic approach in treating olfactory groove meningiomas

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1875–1885

To review current management strategies for olfactory groove meningioma (OGM)s and the recent literature comparing endoscopic endonasal (EEA) with traditional transcranial (TCA) approaches.

Methods A PubMed search of the recent literature (2011– 2016) was performed to examine outcomes following EEA and TCA for OGM. The extent of resection, visual outcome, postoperative complications and recurrence rates were analyzed using percentages and proportions, the Fischer exact test and the Student’s t-test using Graphpad PRISM 7.0Aa (San Diego, CA) software.

Results There were 444 patients in the TCA group with a mean diameter of 4.61 (±1.17) cm and 101 patients in the EEA group with a mean diameter of 3.55 (± 0.58) cm (p = 0.0589). GTR was achieved in 90.9% (404/444) in the TCA group and 70.2% (71/101) in the EEA group (p < 0.0001). Of the patients with preoperative visual disturbances, 80.7% (21/26) of patients in the EEA cohort had an improvement in vision compared to 12.83%(29/226) in the TCA group (p < 0.0001). Olfaction was lost in 61% of TCA and in 100% of EEA patients. CSF leaks and meningitis occurred in 25.7% and 4.95% of EEA patients and 6.3% and 1.12% of TCA patients, respectively (p < 0.0001; p = 0.023).

Conclusions Our updated literature review demonstrates that despite more experience with endoscopic resection and skull base reconstruction, the literature still supports TCA over EEA with respect to the extent of resection and complications. EEA may be an option in selected cases where visual improvement is the main goal of surgery and postoperative anosmia is acceptable to the patient or in medium-sized tumors with existing preoperative anosmia. Nevertheless, based on our results, it seems more prudent at this time to use TCA for the majority of OGMs.