Microsurgical management of midbrain cavernous malformations: does lesion depth influence the outcome?

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2739–2754

The purpose of this study was to clarify whether the intrinsic depth of midbrain cavernous malformations (MCMs) influenced the surgical outcome.

Methods The authors conducted a retrospective study of 76 consecutive patients who underwent microsurgical resection of a MCM. The vascular lesions were categorized into 4 distinct groups based on how these lesions had altered the brainstem surface. Additionally, it was verified whether the actual aspect of the brainstem surface could be predicted only by evaluating the pertinent preoperative MRI slices. Clinical outcome was assessed by determining the modified Rankin Scale Score (mRS) before and after surgery.

Results Twenty-three MCMs (30.3%) were located deeply within the midbrain. The overlying midbrain surface appeared to be normal (group nl). In 33 patients (43.4%), the midbrain surface showed only a yellowish discoloration (group yw). In another 14 individuals (18.4%), the midbrain surface was distorted by the underlying MCM and bulging out while the vascular lesion still remained covered by a thin parenchymal layer (group bg). In the smallest group comprising 6 patients (7.9%), the exophytic MCM had disrupted the midbrain surface and was clearly visible at microsurgical exposure (group ex). The mean mRS decreased in the group nl from 1.43 preoperatively to 0.61 at follow-up.

Conclusion This study demonstrates in a large patient population that a deep intrinsic MCM location is not necessarily associated with an unfavorable clinical outcome after microsurgical lesionectomy. Predicting the aspect of the midbrain surface by evaluating preoperative MR images alone was not sufficiently reliable.

Optimal access route for pontine cavernous malformation resection with preservation of abducens and facial nerve function

J Neurosurg 135:683–692, 2021

The aim of this study was to analyze the differences between posterolateral and posteromedial approaches to pontine cavernous malformations (PCMs) in order to verify the hypothesis that a posterolateral approach is more favorable with regard to preservation of abducens and facial nerve function.

METHODS The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 135 consecutive patients who underwent microsurgical resection of a PCM. The vascular lesions were first classified in a blinded fashion into 4 categories according to the possible or only reasonable surgical access route. In a second step, the lesions were assessed according to which approach was performed and different patient groups and subgroups were determined. In a third step, the modified Rankin Scale score and the rates of permanent postoperative abducens and facial nerve palsies were assessed.

RESULTS The largest group in this series comprised 77 patients. Their pontine lesion was eligible for resection from either a posterolateral or posteromedial approach, in contrast to the remaining 3 patient groups in which the lesion location already had dictated a specific surgical approach. Fifty-four of these 77 individuals underwent surgery via a posterolateral approach and 23 via a posteromedial approach. When comparing these 2 patient subgroups, there was a statistically significant difference between postoperative rates of permanent abducens (3.7% vs 21.7%) and facial (1.9% vs 21.7%) nerve palsies. In the entire patient population, the abducens and facial nerve deficit rates were 5.9% and 5.2%, respectively, and the modified Rankin Scale score significantly decreased from 1.6 ± 1.1 preoperatively to 1.0 ± 1.1 at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS The authors’ results suggest favoring a posterolateral over a posteromedial access route to PCMs in patients in whom a lesion is encountered that can be removed via either surgical approach. In the present series, the authors have found such a constellation in 57% of all patients. This retrospective analysis confirms their hypothesis in a large patient cohort. Additionally, the authors demonstrated that 4 types of PCMs can be distinguished by preoperatively evaluating whether only one reasonable or two alternative surgical approaches are available to access a specific lesion. The rates of postoperative sixth and seventh nerve palsies in this series are substantially lower than those in the majority of other published reports.

Petroclival meningiomas: long-term outcomes of multimodal treatments and management strategies based on 30 years of experience at a single institution

J Neurosurg 132:1675–1682, 2020

A thorough investigation of the long-term outcomes and chronological changes of multimodal treatments for petroclival meningiomas is required to establish optimal management strategies. The authors retrospectively reviewed the long-term clinical outcomes of patients with petroclival meningioma according to various treatments, including various surgical approaches, and they suggest treatment strategies based on 30 years of experience at a single institution.

METHODS Ninety-two patients with petroclival meningiomas were treated surgically at the authors’ institution from 1986 to 2015. Patient demographics, overall survival, local tumor control rates, and functional outcomes according to multimodal treatments, as well as chronological change in management strategies, were evaluated. The mean clinical and radiological follow-up periods were 121 months (range 1–368 months) and 105 months (range 1–348 months), respectively.

RESULTS A posterior transpetrosal approach was most frequently selected and was followed in 44 patients (48%); a simple retrosigmoid approach, undertaken in 30 patients, was the second most common. The initial extent of resection and following adjuvant treatment modality were classified into 3 subgroups: gross-total resection (GTR) only in 13 patients; non-GTR treatment followed by adjuvant radiosurgery or radiation therapy (non-GTR+RS/RT) in 56 patients; and non-GTR without adjuvant treatment (non-GTR only) in 23 patients. The overall progression-free survival rate was 85.8% at 5 years and 81.2% at 10 years. Progression or recurrence rates according to each subgroup were 7.7%, 12.5%, and 30.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS The authors’ preferred multimodal treatment strategy, that of planned incomplete resection and subsequent adjuvant radiosurgery, is a feasible option for the management of patients with large petroclival meningiomas, considering both local tumor control and postoperative quality of life.


Contralateral anterior interhemispheric transcallosal- transrostral approach to the subcallosal region

J Neurosurg 129:508–514, 2018

The authors report a novel surgical route from a superior anatomical aspect—the contralateral anterior interhemispheric-transcallosal-transrostral approach—to a lesion located in the subcallosal region. The neurosurgical approach to the subcallosal region is challenging due to its deep location and close relationship with important vascular structures. Anterior and inferior routes to the subcallosal region have been described but risk damaging the branches of the anterior cerebral artery.

METHODS Three formalin-fixed and silicone-injected adult cadaveric heads were studied to demonstrate the relationships between the transventricular surgical approach and the subcallosal region. The surgical, clinical, and radiological history of a 39-year-old man with a subcallosal cavernous malformation was retrospectively used to document the neurological examination and radiographic parameters of such a case.

RESULTS The contralateral anterior interhemispheric-transcallosal-transrostral approach provides access to the subcallosal area that also includes the inferior portion of the pericallosal cistern, lamina terminalis cistern, the paraterminal and paraolfactory gyri, and the anterior surface of the optic chiasm. The approach avoids the neurocritical perforating branches of the anterior communicating artery.

CONCLUSIONS The contralateral anterior interhemispheric-transcallosal-transrostral approach may be an alternative route to subcallosal area lesions, with less risk to the branches of the anterior cerebral artery, particularly the anterior communicating artery perforators.

Anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach to pineal region tumors

J Neurosurg 128:182–192, 2018

Pineal region tumors are challenging to access because they are centrally located within the calvaria and surrounded by critical neurovascular structures.

The goal of this work is to describe a new surgical trajectory, the anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach, to the pineal region and falcotentorial junction area. To demonstrate this approach, the authors examined 7 adult formalin-fixed silicone-injected cadaveric heads and 2 fresh human brain specimens.

One representative case of falcotentorial meningioma treated through an anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach is also described.

Among the interhemispheric approaches to the pineal region, the anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach has several advantages. 1) There are few or no bridging veins at the level of the pericoronal suture. 2) The parietal and occipital lobes are not retracted, which reduces the chances of approach-related morbidity, especially in the dominant hemisphere. 3) The risk of damage to the deep venous structures is low because the tumor surface reached first is relatively vein free. 4) The internal cerebral veins can be manipulated and dissected away laterally through the anterior interhemispheric route but not via the posterior interhemispheric route. 5) Early control of medial posterior choroidal arteries is obtained.

The anterior interhemispheric transsplenial approach provides a safe and effective surgical corridor for patients with supratentorial pineal region tumors that 1) extend superiorly, involve the splenium of the corpus callosum, and push the deep venous system in a posterosuperior or an anteroinferior direction; 2) are tentorial and displace the deep venous system inferiorly; or 3) originate from the splenium of the corpus callosum.


Optimal treatment of jugular foramen schwannomas

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1517–1527

The goal of treatment for jugular foramen schwannomas (JFSs) is to achieve complete tumor removal with cranial nerve preservation. However, achieving this goal remains a challenge despite the advances in microsurgical techniques. The aim of this study was to determine optimal treatment strategies for JFSs based on a review of a series of 29 surgical cases in our institute.

Materials and methods: Between 1997 and 2013, 29 patients with JFSs underwent surgical treatment by multidisciplinary otoneurosurgical approaches. We retrospectively evaluated various clinical outcomes including the extent of tumor resection, postoperative cranial nerve deficits, and the recurrence rate. Tumor extension was classified using the Kaye and Pellet classification (KPC) system, and the extent of tumor resection was graded as gross total resection (GTR), near total resection (NTR), and subtotal resection (STR). We utilized the House- Brackmann facial nerve grading system (HBFNGS), the average pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry (PTA/SA) tests, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Outcome Measurement System (ASHA NOMS) swallowing scale (ASHA level) for assessment of functional outcomes.

Results: The extent of tumor resection was not related to the degree of immediate postoperative cranial nerve deficits. However, the surgical approach was significantly related to postoperative hearing status and immediate postoperative facial function. Also, among the ten patients who were below the level of acceptable facial function immediately postoperatively, nine patients (90%) recovered to acceptable facial function by the last follow-up. Concerning postoperative swallowing status, all 21 patients recovered swallowing function by the last follow-up. Postoperative Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKRS) was performed for three recurrent and seven residual tumors, and recurrence was not observed in the mean 36-month follow-up period.

Conclusions: A surgical strategy should be tailored to the individual case, and clinicians should consider the possibility of recurrence and further adjuvant treatment.

Posterior callosotomy in the semi-prone park-bench position

Posterior callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach in the semi-prone park-bench position-1

J Neurosurg 123:1322–1325, 2015

A 2-stage corpus callosotomy is accepted as a palliative procedure for patients older than 16 years with, in particular, medically intractable generalized epilepsy and drop attack seizures and is preferable for a lower risk of disconnection syndrome.

Although the methods by which a previously performed craniotomy can be reopened for posterior callosotomy have already been reported, posterior corpus callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach with the patient in a semi-prone park-bench position has not been described in the literature.

Here, the authors present a surgical technique for posterior callosotomy using a parietooccipital interhemispheric approach with a semi-prone parkbench position as a second surgery. Although this procedure requires an additional skin incision in the parietooccipital region, it makes the 2-stage callosotomy safer and easier to perform because of reduced intracranial adhesion, less bleeding, and an easier approach to the splenium of the corpus callosum.

Transzygomatic approach with anteriorly limited inferior temporal gyrectomy for large medial tentorial meningiomas

Transzygomatic approach with anteriorly limited inferior temporal gyrectomy for large medial tentorial meningiomas

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:1747–1756

Tentorial meningiomas near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge with supratentorial extension are usually removed via the subtemporal approach. This approach, however, may not be practical, especially for huge tumors extending to the posterior subtemporal space. This study describes the use of the transzygomatic approach with anteriorly limited inferior temporal gyrectomy (TZ-AITG) to remove these large tumors.

Methods Between 2008 and 2012, five patients with symptomatic tentorial meningiomas (median diameter, 5.2 cm; range, 4.0–5.7 cm) near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge with supratentorial extension underwent TZAITG, consisting of zygomatic osteotomy, low-positioned craniotomy, and resection of the inferior temporal gyrus around 4 cm from the tip.

Results Tumors were completely resected in all patients. Postoperatively, none had a newly developed neurological morbidity, and none died. Of three patients with preoperative hemianopia, two showed improvement and one remained stationary. One patient with preoperative hemiparesis recovered completely. All patients returned to their normal activities during the follow-up period. Surgical morbidities included epidural hematoma and chronic subdural hematoma in one patient each, with both requiring evacuation.

Conclusions TZ-AITG may be a good alternative to the subtemporal approach for large tentorial meningiomas near the middle third of the medial tentorial edge. TZ-AITG provides access to the lesions and visualization of the middle fossa, facilitating early feeder control while minimizing brain retraction, thus reducing potential injury to the vein of Labbé. TZ-AITG is also safe and feasible in minimizing neurological compromise.

Posterior interhemispheric transfalcine transprecuneus approach for microsurgical resection of periatrial lesions

posterior interhemispheric transfalcine transprecuneus approach

J Neurosurg 123:1045–1054, 2015

Surgical exposure of the peritrigonal or periatrial region has been challenging due to the depth of the region and overlying important functional cortices and white matter tracts. The authors demonstrate the operative feasibility of a contralateral posterior interhemispheric transfalcine transprecuneus approach (PITTA) to this region and present a series of patients treated via this operative route. Methods Fourteen consecutive patients underwent the PITTA and were included in this study. Pre- and postoperative clinical and radiological data points were retrospectively collected. Complications and extent of resection were reviewed.

Results The mean age of patients at the time of surgery was 39 years (range 11–64 years). Six of the 14 patients were female. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.6 months (range 0.5–19.6 months). Pathology included 6 arteriovenous malformations, 4 gliomas, 2 meningiomas, 1 metastatic lesion, and 1 gray matter heterotopia. Based on the results shown on postoperative MRI, 1 lesion (7%) was intentionally subtotally resected, but ≥ 95% resection was achieved in all others (93%) and gross-total resection was accomplished in 7 (54%) of 13. One patient (7%) experienced a temporary approach-related complication. At last follow-up, 1 patient (7%) had died due to complications of his underlying malignancy unrelated to his cranial surgery, 2 (14%) demonstrated a Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score of 4, and 11 (79%) manifested a GOS score of 5.

Conclusions Based on this patient series, the contralateral PITTA potentially offers numerous advantages, including a wider, safer operative corridor, minimal need for ipsilateral brain manipulation, and better intraoperative navigation and working angles.

Algorithmic selection of cervical deformity surgery

An algorithmic strategy for selecting a surgical approach in cervical deformity correction

Neurosurg Focus 36 (5):E5, 2014

Adult degenerative cervical kyphosis is a debilitating disease that often requires complex surgical management. Young spine surgeons, residents, and fellows are often confused as to which surgical approach to choose due to lack of experience, absence of a systematic method of surgical management, and today’s plethora of information regarding surgical techniques. Although surgeons may be able to perform anterior, posterior, or combined (360°) approaches to the cervical spine, many struggle to rationally choose an appropriate approach for deformity correction.

The authors introduce an algorithm based on morphology and pathology of adult cervical kyphosis to help the surgeon select the appropriate approach when performing cervical deformity surgery.

Cervical deformities are categorized into 5 different prevalent morphological types encountered in clinical settings. A surgical approach tailored to each category/ type of deformity is then discussed, with a concrete case illustration provided for each.

Preoperative assessment of kyphosis, determination of the goal for surgery, and the complications associated with cervical deformity correction are also summarized. This article’s goal is to assist with understanding the big picture for surgical management in cervical spinal deformity.

Transpetrosal approach for challenging craniopharyngiomas

Transpetrosal approach for challenging craniopharyngiomas

J Neurosurg 120:1–11, 2014

Retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas are surgically challenging tumors. Retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions such as large diameter, major calcification, or significant extension to the third ventricle or posterior fossa present surgical challenges; moreover, recurrent retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas are particularly formidable challenges. Although the transpetrosal approach to retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas published by Hakuba in 1985 can provide unique advantageous exposure of the retrochiasmatic area to allow safe neurovascular dissection and facilitate radical tumor removal, the procedure is viewed as complicated and time consuming and has a high risk of damaging hearing functions. The authors have modified Hakuba’s technique to minimize petrosectomy and reduce surgical complications and have applied this modified approach to retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions. In this study, the authors describe their technique and surgical outcomes to elucidate the role of this modified transpetrosal approach for retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions. This is the first study to report surgical outcomes of the transpetrosal approach for retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas.

Methods. Between 1999 and 2011, the minimum anterior and posterior combined (MAPC) transpetrosal approach, which is a modification of Hakuba’s transpetrosal approach, was applied in 16 cases of retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions. Eight cases were recurrent tumors, 4 had previously received radiotherapy, 11 had a large diameter, 10 had large calcification, 15 had superior extension of the tumor into the third ventricle, and 10 had a posterior extension of the tumor that compressed the midbrain and pons. In all 16 patients, more than 2 of these complicated conditions were present. The follow-up duration ranged from 0.8 to 12.5 years (mean 5.3 years). Surgical outcomes assessed were the extent of resection, surgical complications, visual function, endocrinological status, and neuropsychological function. Five-year and 10-year recurrence-free survival rates were also calculated.

Results. Gross-total or near-total resection was achieved in 15 cases (93.8%). Facial nerve function was completely maintained in all 16 patients. Serviceable hearing was preserved in 15 cases (93.8%). Visual function improved in 13 out of 14 cases (92.9%) that had visual disturbance before surgery. None of the patients experienced deterioration of their visual function. Twelve cases had endocrinological deficit and received hormonal replacement before surgery. New endocrinological deficit occurred in 2 cases (12.5%). Neuropsychological function was maintained in 14 cases (87.5%) and improved in 1 case (6.3%). One case that had received previous conventional radiotherapy treatment showed a gradual decline in neuropsychological function. The 5-year and 10-year recurrence-free survival rates were both 86.5%.

Conclusions. The authors obtained good results by using the MAPC transpetrosal approach for the removal of retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions. The MAPC transpetrosal approach should be considered as a therapeutic option for selected cases of retrochiasmatic craniopharyngiomas with complicated conditions.

Combined extradural subtemporal and anterior transpetrosal approach to tumors located in the interpeduncular fossa and the upper clivus

Approach to interpeduncular fossa and upper clivus

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1401–1407

Central skull base lesions in the interpeduncular fossa and the upper clival regions can be challenging to access because of their location anterior to the brainstem. We have modified the anterior transpetrosal approach by combination with the extradural subtemporal route to increase the surgical corridor.

Methods Thirty-seven patients underwent surgical treatment via the anterior transpetrosal approach from 2002 to 2012. The combined surgical approach was primarily applied when the tumors arose from the upper clival portion and extended to the interpeduncular fossa. The combined approach was used in seven of these patients, comprising four patients with petroclival meningiomas, one patient with sphenoclival meningiomas, one patient with trigeminal schwannoma, and one patient with an epidermoid cyst extending from the interpeduncular fossa to the prepontine cistern.

Results The combined approach permitted excellent visualization of the interpeduncular fossa in addition to the upper clivus and the lateral aspect of the brain stem. Mobilization of the temporal lobe by the entire epidural dissection of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus facilitates access via the subtemporal route. The transient symptom of the temporal lobe in the dominant site may be the only drawback for this combined approach, although it may disappear immediately after the surgery.

Conclusion The present approach combines Dolenc’s approach and Kawase’s approach, providing a wide exposure to lesions of the interpeduncular fossa and the clivus.

Transcerebellomedullary fissure approach to lesions of the fourth ventricle: less is more?


Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1011–1016

The transcerebellomedullary fissure (trans-CMF) approach is safe and effective. Nevertheless, previous research documented a few differences in the use of this approach with regard to the opening portion of the fissure and roof of the ventricle. Here, we present a series of patients with fourth ventricular lesions and our experience using the trans-CMF approach.

Methods Fifty patients who underwent the trans-CMF approach were analyzed. The tela choroidea was simply incised in 32 patients: 27 unilaterally and 5 bilaterally. Both the tela and inferior medullary velum were cut in 18 patients: 16 unilaterally and 2 bilaterally. Unless the tumor extended below the C1 level, C1 was preserved intact. Brainstem mapping (BSM) and corticobulbar tract (CBT) motor-evoked potential (MEP) monitoring were used.

Results Gross total removal was achieved in 41 (82 %) cases, and sub-total removal was achieved in 9 (18 %) cases. Two deaths occurred 1–2 months postoperatively because of pulmonary complications. Four patients developed temporary mutism, all of whom underwent the bilateral trans-CMF approach (this rate is significantly higher than that of the unilateral approach, P<0.05). No permanent neurological deficit occurred.

Conclusion The trans-CMF approach provides excellent access to fourth ventricular lesions without splitting the vermis. The opening portion of the fissure and roof of the ventricle should be determined by the location, extension and size of the lesion. In most cases, the unilateral trans- CMF approach with only a tela choroidea incision is adequate; this procedure is mini-invasive and possibly prevents postoperative mutism.

Lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach for petroclival meningiomas: operative technique and outcome

J Neurosurg 115:49–54, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.2.JNS101759

The retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal approach with the patient in a semisitting position is an effective alternative to transpetrosal approaches for the treatment of petroclival meningiomas. The authors have made a simple modification to the retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal approach by using the lateral oblique position and preferentially dividing the tentorium with limited drilling of the suprameatal bone, which is termed the “lateral su- pracerebellar transtentorial approach.”

Methods. Twenty-six patients with petroclival meningiomas surgically treated via the lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach were analyzed. All tumors had most of their bulk in the posterior fossa with some degree of extension into the middle fossa and/or Meckel cave. The patient is placed in the lateral oblique position, and a standard retrosigmoid craniotomy is performed. The tentorium medial to the trigeminal nerve is incised toward the free edge, which improves exposure to the petroclival region without extensive resection of the suprameatal petrous bone.

Results. Gross-total resection was achieved in 11 patients (42%). Ten patients (38%) underwent subtotal resection, and 5 patients (19%) underwent partial resection. There was no incidence of operative death, and the postoperative permanent morbidity rate was 15%. All patients except one did well postoperatively and were independent at the time of their last follow-up examinations.

Conclusions. The lateral supracerebellar transtentorial approach provides the simplest and safest access to the petroclival region. It offers an advantageous approach to petroclival meningiomas exclusively located in the posterior fossa with minimal extension into the Meckel cave and middle fossa.

Surgical approaches to brainstem cavernous malformations

Neurosurg Focus 29 (3):E8, 2010. DOI: 10.3171/2010.6.FOCUS10128

Brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs) are low-flow vascular lesions in eloquent locations. Their presentation is often marked with symptomatic hemorrhages that appear to occur more frequently than hemorrhage from supratentorial cavernomas.

Brainstem CMs can be removed using 1 of the 5 standard skull-base approaches: retrosigmoid, suboccipital (with or without telovelar approach), supracerebellar infratentorial, orbitozygomatic, and far lateral.

Patients being referred to a tertiary institution often have lesions that are aggressive with respect to bleeding rates. Nonetheless, the indications for surgery, in the authors’ opinion, are the same for all lesions: those that are symptomatic, those that cause mass effect, or those that abut a pial surface. Patients often have relapsing and remitting courses of symptoms, with each hemorrhage causing a progressive and stepwise decline.

Many patients experience new postoperative deficits, most of which are transient and resolve fully. Despite the risks associated with operating in this highly eloquent tissue, most patients have had favorable outcomes in the authors’ experience. Surgical treatment of brainstem CMs protects patients from the potentially devastating effects of rehemorrhage, and the authors believe that the benefits of intervention outweigh the risks in patients with the appropriate indications.

Trigonal and peritrigonal lesions of the lateral ventricle—surgical considerations and outcome analysis of 20 patients

Neurosurg Rev DOI 10.1007/s10143-010-0271-8

The aim of this study is to review the results and clinical outcome of patients with surgically treated lesions within the trigone of the lateral ventricle.

This is a retrospective case series of 20 (eight male, 12 female) patients with lesions of the trigone of the lateral ventricle operated between 1998 and 2008. All lesions were removed via the transcortical temporal and transcortical parietal route. Surgical complications and outcome were assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).

There were four children and 16 adults with a mean age of 42±22 years (min=1, max=74). Eight (40%) lesions grew within the trigone of the dominant hemisphere. In 17 cases, the lesion was purely intraventricular, and in three cases, a slight paraventricular extension was seen. The mean size was 4.5 cm of maximal diameter. Surgical removal was achieved via the transcortical parietal route in 13 cases (65%) and the transcortical temporal route in seven cases (35%). In all cases, complete resection was possible. According to the mRS, 13 patients improved, five remained the same, and two were lost to follow-up. One patient had an increased visual field deficit postoperatively and new hemiparesis and aphasia, but returned to the preoperative level within a few weeks. In one patient, an acute myocardial infarction occurred due to previous cardiac stent placement and instent stenosis.

Even large trigonal lesions can be resected with low morbidity using a transcortical approach depending on the peritrigonal extension of the tumor.

Foramen magnum meningiomas: experiences in 114 patients

Surgical Neurology 72 (2009) 376–382. doi:10.1016/j.surneu.2009.05.006

Background: Although there has been great development in the anatomical understanding and operative techniques for skull base tumors, controversy still exists regarding the optimal surgical strategies for the FMMs. We report clinical and radiologic features as well as the surgical findings and outcome for patients with FMM treated at our institution over the last 15 years.
Methods: We reviewed 114 consecutive cases of FMM operated between May 1993 and June 2008 in the neurosurgery department at Beijing Tiantan Hospital.
Results: There were 68 female and 46 male patients (mean age, 52.3 years; range, 28-76 years). Foramen magnum meningiomas were classified as anterior (80 cases), anterolateral (24 cases), and posterolateral (10 cases). Mean duration of symptoms was 11.7 months (ranging from 1.5 to 240 months). Cervico-occipital pain (80.7%) and headache and dizziness (42.1%) were the most common presenting symptoms. The preoperative KPS was 72.5 ± 8.3. Mean maximum diameter of the tumors on MRI was 3.35 cm (range, 1.5-4.7 cm). Posterior midline approach was performed in 10 cases, far-lateral retrocondylar approach in 97 cases, and extended far-lateral approach in 7 cases. Gross total resection was achieved in 86.0% of patients and subtotal resection in 14.0%. Surgical mortality was 1.8%. Follow-up data were available for 93 patients, with a mean follow-up of 90.3 months (range, 1-180 months), of which 59 (63.4%) lived a normal life (KPS, 80-100).
Conclusion: Our experience suggests that most anterior and anterolateral FMMs can be completely resected by a far-lateral retrocondylar approach without resection of the occipital condyle. Complete resection of the tumor should be attempted at the first operation. Postoperative management of FMM is important for the prognosis.

Fronto-basal interhemispheric approach for tuberculum sellae meningiomas; long-term visual outcome

Ganna, Ahmed, Dehdashti, Amir R., Karabatsou, Konstantina and Gentili, Fred. British Journal of Neurosurgery,23:4,422-430, (2009).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02688690902968836

We report our experience with the treatment of tuberculum sellae meningiomas using the fronto-basal interhemispheric approach. A retrospective analysis was performed on a series of 24 patients with tuberculum sellae meningiomas who were operated between March 2000 and January 2007. Patients’ presenting symptoms, radiological images, operative reports, and clinical follow-up data were reviewed with special consideration for visual outcome. Visual deterioration was the presenting symptom in all patients, followed by headache in 9 patients (37.5%). The average duration of visual symptoms was 17.6 months. The average tumor diameter was 2.63 cm; encasement of the carotid artery was identified in 7 patients (29%). Complete tumor removal was achieved in 21 patients (87.5%). Mean follow-up period was 52 months. Vision improved in 19 patients (79%), remained stable in 4 (17%) and deteriorated in 1 patient (4%). The degree of tumor removal or visual outcome were both unrelated to the tumor size (p=0.2 and p=0.6 respectively). While the degree of preoperative visual deficit did not affect the visual improvement rate in the whole group (p=0.9), those patients with improvement to good functional vision (>20/40) after the surgery, had a less severe preoperative deficit (p<0.001). The most common complication was anosmia (29.1%) and there was no mortality. The frontobasal interhemispheric approach is safe and provides a direct anatomical approach to tuberculum sellae meningiomas with relatively low incidence of complications. Patients with improved vision to good functional level had a better preoperative visual status.

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