Microsurgical approaches to the cerebellar interpeduncular region

J Neurosurg 136:1410–1423, 2022

The cerebellar interpeduncular region (CIPR) is a gate for dorsolateral pontine and cerebellar lesions accessed through the supracerebellar infratentorial approach (SCITa), the occipital transtentorial approach (OTa), or the subtemporal transtentorial approach (STa). The authors sought to compare the exposures of the CIPR region that each of these approaches provided.

METHODS Three approaches were performed bilaterally in eight silicone-injected cadaveric heads. The working area, area of exposure, depth of the surgical corridor, length of the interpeduncular sulcus (IPS) exposed, and bridging veins were statistically studied and compared based on each approach.

RESULTS The OTa provided the largest working area (1421 mm2; p < 0.0001) and the longest surgical corridor (6.75 cm; p = 0.0006). Compared with the SCITa, the STa provided a larger exposure area (249.3 mm2; p = 0.0148) and exposed more of the length of the IPS (1.15 cm; p = 0.0484). The most bridging veins were encountered with the SCITa; however, no significant differences were found between this approach and the other approaches (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS To reach the CIPR, the STa provided a more extensive exposure area and more linear exposure than did the SCITa. The OTa offered a larger working area than the SCIT and the STa; however, the OTa had the most extensive surgical corridor. These data may help neurosurgeons select the most appropriate approach for lesions of the CIPR.

Exclusive Endoscopic Occipital Transtentorial Approach for Pineal Region Tumors

World Neurosurg. (2019) 131:167-173

Removal of pineal region tumors, which are deeply placed and encircled by intricate neurovascular structures, is challenging to neurosurgeons. The aim of this study was to present our experience with the exclusive endoscopic occipital transtentorial approach (EEOTA) used for removal of pineal region tumors.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent surgery using the EEOTA to remove pineal region tumors from May 2016 to August 2018. The details of the EEOTA procedure were confirmed.

RESULTS: Five patients underwent surgery via the EEOTA for treatment of pineal region tumors. In all cases, it was possible to perform the EEOTA less invasively through a keyhole craniotomy approximately 2.0e2.5 cm in size. The EEOTA produced an excellent view and provided natural and automatic orientation. There was essentially no blind spot in this procedure, even for the floor or ipsilateral wall of the third ventricle. Gross total resection was achieved in 4 cases. In the patient with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, we abandoned gross total resection because of a hardened adhesion to the tectum and the great cerebral vein and its tributaries. Two patients presented with transient upper gaze palsy immediately after surgery but experienced complete recovery during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS: The EEOTA is a very promising technique for removal of pineal region tumors and has the potential for extensive and routine application for surgeons familiar with endoscopic surgery.

Pineal cyst resection in the absence of ventriculomegaly or Parinaud’s syndrome

Pineal cyst resection in the absence of ventriculomegaly or Parinaud’s syndrome

J Neurosurg 123:352–356, 2015

Surgical indications for patients with pineal cysts are controversial. While the majority of patients harboring a pineal cyst require no treatment, surgery is a well-accepted option for a subset of those patients with secondary hydrocephalus or Parinaud’s syndrome. The majority of pineal cysts are identified incidentally during workup for other potential conditions, which may or may not be related to the presence of the cyst. In the absence of clear obstruction of CSF pathways, the treatment of presumed symptomatic pineal cysts is debatable. To clarify the role of surgery in these borderline cases, the authors reviewed their experience with resection of pineal cysts in the absence of ventriculomegaly or Parinaud’s syndrome.

Methods The authors retrospectively reviewed medical records and imaging of all patients surgically treated between 2001 and 2014 with a pineal cyst in the absence of ventriculomegaly and Parinaud’s syndrome. The presenting symptoms, preoperative cyst size, preoperative radiographic aqueductal compression, extent of resection, and radiographic and clinical follow-up were documented.

Results Eighteen patients (14 female and 4 male; mean age 24 years, range 4–47 years) underwent cyst resection in the absence of ventriculomegaly or Parinaud’s syndrome. Presenting symptoms included headache (17 patients), visual disturbances (10 patients), gait instability (5 patients), dizziness (5 patients), episodic loss of consciousness (2 patients), and hypersomnolence (1 patient). The mean preoperative cyst diameter was 1.5 cm (range 0.9–2.2 cm). All patients had a complete resection. At a mean clinical follow-up of 19.1 months (range postoperative to 71 months), 17 (94%) patients had resolution or improvement of their presenting symptoms.

Conclusions: The authors’ results suggest that ventriculomegaly and Parinaud’s syndrome are not absolute requisites for a pineal cyst to be symptomatic. Analogous to colloid cysts of the third ventricle, intermittent occlusion of cerebrospinal fluid pathways may cause small pineal cysts to become intermittently symptomatic. A select cohort of patients with pineal cysts may benefit from surgery despite a lack of hydrocephalus or other obvious compressive pathology.

Radical resection of nongerminomatous pineal region tumors via the occipital transtentorial approach based on arachnoidal consideration

Occipital transtentorial

Acta Neurochir (2014) 156:2253–2262

The role of radical resection for nongerminomatous pineal region tumors is still controversial. The purpose of this study was to present the surgical results in a large series and evaluate the feasibility of radical surgical strategy.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed the records of 143 patients with nongerminomatous pineal region tumors surgically treated via an occipital transtentorial approach between 2000 and 2011. The tumor was small (<2 cm) in 14.7 % of patients, medium (2–4 cm) in 52.4 %, and large (>4 cm) in 32.9 %.

Results Gross total tumor removal was achieved in 91.6 % of patients, subtotal in 7.0 %, and partial in 1.4 %. Histological diagnosis was nongerminomatous germ cell tumor in 41.3 %, pineal parenchymal tumor in 14.7 %, glial tumors in 28.7 %, and miscellaneous in 15.4 %. The overall complication and mortality rate was 18.2 % and 0.7 %, respectively. Permanent morbidity occurred in 5.6 % of patients, including hemianopsia in 3.5 % and Parinaud syndrome in 2.1 %. Hydrocephalus was resolved in 82.1 % without surgery for the CSF diversion. Sixty-eight patients with malignant tumors underwent radiotherapy; 35 also received adjuvant chemotherapy. One hundred thirty patients were successfully followed up with a mean duration of 43 months. Finally, 86.9 % of the patients achieved a favorable functional outcome (mRS≤ 2), 3.1 % had an mRS score of 3, 1.5 % had an mRS score of 4, and 8.5 % had died (mRS=6).

Conclusions Radical surgery was recommended as the optimal treatment for nongerminomatous pineal region tumors. Favorable results could be achieved by experienced neurosurgeons. Hydrocephalus could be cured by radical tumor removal in the majority of cases. The occipital transtentorial approach was indicated for most pineal region tumors, but surgeon’s preference and experience should also be considered. New understanding of the arachnoid membranes of this region may be helpful for tumor resection.