Retrosigmoid transhorizontal fissure approach to lateral pontine cavernous malformation: comparison to transpetrosal presigmoid retrolabyrinthine approach

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York
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OBJECTIVE

The retrosigmoid (RS) approach is a classic route used to access deep-seated brainstem cavernous malformation (CM). The angle of access is limited, so alternatives such as the transpetrosal presigmoid retrolabyrinthine (TPPR) approach have been used to overcome this limitation. Here, the authors evaluated a modification to the RS approach, horizontal fissure dissection by using the RS transhorizontal (RSTH) approach.

METHODS

Relevant clinical parameters were evaluated in 9 patients who underwent resection of lateral pontine CM. Cadaveric dissection was performed to compare the TPPR approach and the RSTH approach.

RESULTS

Five patients underwent the TPPR approach, and 4 underwent the RSTH approach. Dissection of the horizontal fissure allowed for access to the infratrigeminal safe entry zone, with a direct trajectory to the middle cerebellar peduncle similar to that used in TPPR exposure. Operative time was longer in the TPPR group. All patients had a modified Rankin Scale score ≤ 2 at the last follow-up. Cadaveric dissection confirmed increased anteroposterior working angle and middle cerebellar peduncle exposure with the addition of horizontal fissure dissection.

CONCLUSIONS

The RSTH approach leads to a direct lateral path to lateral pontine CM, with similar efficacy and shorter operative time compared with more extensive skull base exposure. The RSTH approach could be considered a valid alternative for resection of selected pontine CM.

ABBREVIATIONS

AICA = anterior inferior cerebellar artery; AP = anteroposterior; CC = craniocaudal; CM = cavernous malformation; CN = cranial nerve; GTR = gross-total resection; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; RS = retrosigmoid; RSTH = RS transhorizontal; TPPR = transpetrosal presigmoid retrolabyrinthine.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Amir R. Dehdashti: North Shore University Hospital, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Manhasset, NY. adehdashti@northwell.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online June 11, 2021; DOI: 10.3171/2020.12.JNS203608.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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