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Superior eyelid transorbital approaches: a modular classification system

Matteo de Notaris, Doo-Sik Kong, Alberto Di Somma, Joaquim Enseñat, Chang-Ki Hong, Kris Moe, and Theodore H. Schwartz

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Letter to the Editor. Craniocervical junction disease management

Hanna N. Algattas, Ali A. Alattar, and Paul A. Gardner

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Olfactory groove meningiomas: supraorbital keyhole versus orbitofrontal, frontotemporal, or bifrontal approaches

Evan D. Bander, Abhinav Pandey, Jenny Yan, Alexandra M. Giantini-Larsen, Alexandra Schwartz, Joshua Estin, Phillip E. Stieg, Rohan Ramakrishna, Apostolos John Tsiouris, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs) often require surgical removal. The introduction of recent keyhole approaches raises the question of whether these tumors may be better treated through a smaller cranial opening. One such approach, the supraorbital keyhole craniotomy, has never been compared with more traditional open transcranial approaches with regard to outcome. In this study, the authors compared clinical, radiographic, and functional quality of life (QOL) outcomes between the keyhole supraorbital approach (SOA) and traditional transcranial approach (TTA) for OGMs. They sought to examine the potential advantages and disadvantages of open/TTA versus keyhole SOA for the resection of OGMs in a relatively case-matched series of patients.

METHODS

A retrospective, single-institution review of 57 patients undergoing a keyhole SOA or larger traditional transcranial (frontotemporal, pterional, or bifrontal) craniotomy for newly diagnosed OGMs between 2005 and 2023 was performed. Extent of resection, olfaction, length of stay (LOS), radiographic volumetric assessment of postoperative vasogenic and cytotoxic edema, and QOL (using the Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire) were assessed.

RESULTS

Thirty-two SOA and 25 TTA patients were included. The mean EOR was not significantly different by approach (TTA: 99.1% vs SOA: 98.4%, p = 0.91). Olfaction was preserved or improved at similar rates (TTA: 47% vs SOA: 43%, p = 0.99). The mean LOS was significantly shorter for SOA patients (4.1 ± 2.8 days) than for TTA patients (9.4 ± 11.2 days) (p = 0.002). The authors found an association between an increase in postoperative FLAIR cerebral edema and TTA (p = 0.031). QOL as assessed by the ASQB at last follow-up did not differ significantly between groups (p = 0.74).

CONCLUSIONS

The keyhole SOA was associated with a statistically significant decrease in LOS and less postoperative edema relative to traditional open approaches.

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Endoscopic endonasal repair of encephaloceles of the lateral sphenoid sinus: multiinstitution confirmation of a new classification

Umberto Tosi, Christina Jackson, Glen D’Souza, Mindy Rabinowitz, Christopher Farrell, Sean M. Parsel, Vijay K. Anand, Ashutosh Kacker, Abtin Tabaee, Georgios A. Zenonos, Carl H. Snyderman, Eric W. Wang, James Evans, Marc Rosen, Gurston Nyquist, Paul A. Gardner, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Encephaloceles of the lateral sphenoid sinus are rare. Originally believed to be due to defects in a patent lateral craniopharyngeal canal (Sternberg canal), they are now thought to originate more commonly from idiopathic intracranial hypertension, not unlike encephaloceles elsewhere in the skull base. A new classification of these encephaloceles was recently introduced, which divided them in relation to the foramen rotundum. Whether this classification can be applied to a larger cohort from multiple institutions and whether it might be useful in predicting outcome is unknown. Thus, the authors’ goal was to divide a multiinstitutional cohort of patients with lateral sphenoid encephaloceles into four subtypes to determine their incidence and any correlation with surgical outcome.

METHODS

A multicenter retrospective review of prospectively acquired databases was carried out across three institutions. Cases were categorized into one of four subtypes (type I, Sternberg canal; type II, medial to rotundum; type III, lateral to rotundum; and type IV, both medial and lateral with rotundum enlargement). Demographic and outcome metrics were collected. Kaplan-Meyer curves were used to determine the rate of recurrence after surgical repair.

RESULTS

A total of 49 patients (71% female) were included. The average BMI was 32.8. All encephaloceles fell within the classification scheme. Type III was the most common (71.4%), followed by type IV (16.3%), type II (10.2%), and type I (2%). Cases were repaired endonasally, via a transpterygoidal approach. Lumbar drains were placed in 78% of cases. A variety of materials was used for closure, with a nasoseptal flap used in 65%. After a mean follow-up of 47 months, there were 4 (8%) CSF leak recurrences, all in patients with type III or type IV leaks and all within 1 year of the first repair. Two leaks were fixed with ventriculoperitoneal shunt and reoperation, 1 with ventriculoperitoneal shunt only, and 1 with a lumbar drain only. Of 45 patients in whom detailed information was available, there were 12 (26.7%) with postoperative dry eye or facial numbness, with facial numbness occurring in type III or type IV defects only.

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic endonasal repair of lateral sphenoid wing encephaloceles is highly successful, but repair may lead to dry eye or facial numbness. True Sternberg (type I) leaks were uncommon. Failures and facial numbness occurred only in patients with type III and type IV leaks.

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The lateral transorbital approach to the medial sphenoid wing, anterior clinoid, middle fossa, cavernous sinus, and Meckel’s cave: target-based classification, approach-related complications, and intermediate-term ocular outcomes

Dimitrios Mathios, Ernest J. Bobeff, Davide Longo, Parsa Nilchian, Joshua Estin, Alexandra C. Schwartz, Quillan Austria, Vijay K. Anand, Kyle J. Godfrey, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The lateral transorbital approach (LTOA) is a relatively new minimal access skull base approach suited for addressing paramedian pathology of the anterior and middle fossa. The authors define target zones for this approach and describe a series of cases with detailed measurements of visual outcomes, including those obtained with exophthalmometry.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of a consecutive series of LTOA patients. Seven target zones were identified: 1) the orbit, 2) the lesser sphenoid wing and anterior clinoid, 3) the middle fossa, 4) the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus and Meckel’s cave, 5) the infratemporal fossa, 6) the petrous apex, and 7) the anterior fossa. The authors used volumetric analyses of preoperative and postoperative MR and CT imaging data to calculate the volume of bone and tumor removed and to provide detailed ophthalmological, neurological, and cosmetic outcomes.

RESULTS

Of the 20 patients in this cohort, pathology was in zone 2 (n = 10), zone 4 (n = 6), zone 3 (n = 2), zone 1 (n = 1), and zone 5 (n = 1). Pathology was meningioma (n = 10), schwannoma (n = 2), metastasis (n = 2), epidermoid (n = 1), dermoid (n = 1), encephalocele (n = 1), adenoma (n = 1), glioblastoma (n = 1), and inflammatory lesion (n = 1). The goal was gross-total resection (GTR) in 9 patients, all of whom achieved GTR. Subtotal resection (STR) was the goal in 8 patients (5 spheno-orbital meningiomas, 1 giant cavernous sinus/Meckel’s cave schwannoma, 1 cavernous sinus prolactinoma, and 1 cavernous sinus dermoid), 7 of whom achieved STR and 1 of whom achieved GTR. The goal was biopsy in 2 patient and repair of encephalocele in 1. Visual acuity was stable or improved in 18 patients and worse in 2. Transient early postoperative diplopia, ptosis, eyelid swelling, and peri-orbital numbness were common. All 9 patients with preoperative diplopia improved at their last follow-up. Seven of 8 patients with preoperative exophthalmos improved after surgery (average correction of 64%). There were no cases of clinically significant (> 2 mm) postoperative enophthalmos. The most frequent postoperative complaint was peri-orbital numbness (40%). There was 1 CSF leak. Most patients were satisfied with their ocular (84%–100% of patients provided positive satisfaction-related responses) and cosmetic (75%–100%) outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

The LTOA is a safe minimal access approach to a variety of paramedian anterior skull base pathologies in several locations. Early follow-up revealed excellent resolution of exophthalmos with little risk of clinically significant enophthalmos. Transient diplopia, ptosis, and peri-orbital numbness were common but improved. Careful case selection is critical to ensure good outcome.

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Endonasal, supraorbital, and transorbital approaches: minimal access endoscope-assisted surgical approaches for meningiomas in the anterior and middle cranial fossae

Joseph A. Carnevale, Abhinav Pandey, Cristopher Ramirez-Loera, Jacob L. Goldberg, Evan D. Bander, Fraser Henderson Jr., Sumit N. Niogi, Abtin Tabaee, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand, Andrew Kim, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Kyle J. Godfrey, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive endoscope-assisted approaches to the anterior skull base offer an alternative to traditional open craniotomies. Given the restrictive operative corridor, appropriate case selection is critical for success. In this paper, the authors present the results of three different minimal access approaches to meningiomas of the anterior and middle fossae and examine the differences in the target areas considered appropriate for each approach, as well as the outcomes, to determine whether the surgical goals were achieved.

METHODS

A consecutive series of the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA), supraorbital approach (SOA), or transorbital approach (TOA) for newly diagnosed meningiomas of the anterior and middle fossa skull base between 2007 and 2022 were examined. Probabilistic heat maps were created to display the distribution of tumor volumes for each approach. Gross-total resection (GTR), extent of resection, visual and olfactory outcomes, and postoperative complications were assessed.

RESULTS

Of 525 patients who had meningioma resection, 88 (16.7%) were included in this study. EEA was performed for planum sphenoidale and tuberculum sellae meningiomas (n = 44), SOA for olfactory groove and anterior clinoid meningiomas (n = 36), and TOA for spheno-orbital and middle fossa meningiomas (n = 8). The largest tumors were treated using SOA (mean volume 28 ± 29 cm3), followed by TOA (mean volume 10 ± 10 cm3) and EEA (mean volume 9 ± 8 cm3) (p = 0.024). Most cases (91%) were WHO grade I. GTR was achieved in 84% of patients (n = 74), which was similar to the rates for EEA (84%) and SOA (92%), but lower than that for TOA (50%) (p = 0.002), the latter attributable to spheno-orbital (GTR: 33%) not middle fossa (GTR: 100%) tumors. There were 7 (8%) CSF leaks: 5 (11%) from EEA, 1 (3%) from SOA, and 1 (13%) from TOA (p = 0.326). All resolved with lumbar drainage except for 1 EEA leak that required a reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

Minimally invasive approaches for anterior and middle fossa skull base meningiomas require careful case selection. GTR rates are equally high for all approaches except for spheno-orbital meningiomas, where alleviation of proptosis and not GTR is the primary goal of surgery. New anosmia was most common after EEA.

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Letter to the Editor. Endoscopic odontoidectomy

Atul Goel

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Predictors of extent of resection and recurrence following endoscopic endonasal resection of craniopharyngioma

Ernest J. Bobeff, Dimitrios Mathios, Adina A. Mistry, Georgiana A. Dobri, Mark M. Souweidane, Vijay K. Anand, Abtin Tabaee, Ashutosh Kacker, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Craniopharyngioma is a benign but surgically challenging brain tumor. Controversies exist regarding its ideal treatment strategy, goals of surgery, efficacy of radiation, and the long-term outcomes of these decisions. The authors of this study performed a detailed analysis of factors predictive of the extent of resection and recurrence in large series of craniopharyngiomas removed via an endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) with long-term follow-up.

METHODS

From a prospective database of all EEAs done at Weill Cornell Medical College by the senior author from 2004 to 2022, a consecutive series of histologically proven craniopharyngiomas were identified. Gross-total resection (GTR) was generally the goal of surgery. Radiation was often given if GTR had not been achieved. The stalk was preserved if not infiltrated with tumor but was sacrificed to achieve GTR. Intentional subtotal resection (STR) was performed in select cases to avoid hypothalamic injury.

RESULTS

Among the 111 identified cases were 88 adults and 23 children. Newly diagnosed cases comprised 58.6% of the series. GTR was attempted in 77.5% of the patients and among those cases was achieved in 89.5% of treatment-naive tumors and 72.4% of recurrent tumors. An inability to achieve GTR was predicted by prior surgical treatment (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.03–0.6, p = 0.009), tumor diameter ≥ 3.5 cm (OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.53, p = 0.006), and encasement of the optic nerve or a major artery (OR 0.11, 95% CI 0.01–0.8, p = 0.03). GTR with stalk preservation maintained some anterior pituitary function in 64.5% of cases and prevented diabetes insipidus in 25.8%.

After a median follow-up of 51 months (IQR 17–80 months), the recurrence rate after GTR was 12.5% compared with 38.5% after non-GTR. The median recurrence-free survival was 5.5 years after STR, 8.3 years after near-total resection (≥ 98%), and not reached after GTR (p = 0.004, log-rank test). GTR was the strongest predictor of recurrence-free survival (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.02–0.42, p = 0.002), whereas radiation did not show a statistically significant impact (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.45–3.08). In GTR cases, the recurrence rate was higher if the stalk had been preserved (22.6%) as opposed to a sacrificed stalk (4.9%; OR 5.69, 95% CI 1.09–29.67).

CONCLUSIONS

The study data show that GTR should be the goal of surgery in craniopharyngiomas if it can be achieved safely. Although stalk preservation can maintain some endocrine function, the risk of recurrence is higher in such cases. Radiation may not be as effective as previously reported.

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Endoscopic odontoidectomy for brainstem compression in association with posterior fossa decompression and occipitocervical fusion

Umberto Tosi, Alexandra Giantini-Larsen, Dimitrios Mathios, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand, Kiarash Ferdowssian, Ali Baaj, Roger Härtl, Benjamin I. Rapoport, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Endonasal endoscopic odontoidectomy (EEO) is an alternative to transoral surgery for symptomatic ventral compression of the anterior cervicomedullary junction (CMJ), allowing for earlier extubation and feeding. Because the procedure destabilizes the C1–2 ligamentous complex, posterior cervical fusion is often performed concomitantly. The authors’ institutional experience was reviewed to describe the indications, outcomes, and complications in a large series of EEO surgical procedures in which EEO was combined with posterior decompression and fusion.

METHODS

A consecutive, prospective series of patients who underwent EEO between 2011 and 2021 was studied. Demographic and outcome metrics, radiographic parameters, extent of ventral compression, extent of dens removal, and increase in CSF space ventral to the brainstem were measured on the preoperative and postoperative scans (first and most recent scans).

RESULTS

Forty-two patients (26.2% pediatric) underwent EEO: 78.6% had basilar invagination, and 76.2% had Chiari type I malformation. The mean ± SD age was 33.6 ± 3.0 years, with a mean follow-up of 32.3 ± 4.0 months. The majority of patients (95.2%) underwent posterior decompression and fusion immediately before EEO. Two patients underwent prior fusion. There were 7 intraoperative CSF leaks but no postoperative CSF leaks. The inferior limit of decompression fell between the nasoaxial and rhinopalatine lines. The mean ± SD vertical height of dens resection was 11.98 ± 0.45 mm, equivalent to a mean ± SD resection of 74.18% ± 2.56%. The mean increase in ventral CSF space immediately postoperatively was 1.68 ± 0.17 mm (p < 0.0001), which increased to 2.75 ± 0.23 mm (p < 0.0001) at the most recent follow-up (p < 0.0001). The median (range) length of stay was 5 (2–33) days. The median time to extubation was 0 (0–3) days. The median time to oral feeding (defined as, at minimum, toleration of a clear liquid diet) was 1 (0–3) day. Symptoms improved in 97.6% of patients. Complications were rare and mostly associated with the cervical fusion portion of the combined surgical procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

EEO is safe and effective for achieving anterior CMJ decompression and is often accompanied by posterior cervical stabilization. Ventral decompression improves over time. EEO should be considered for patients with appropriate indications.

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Endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for planum sphenoidale versus tuberculum sellae meningiomas

Fraser Henderson Jr., Brett E. Youngerman, Sumit N. Niogi, Tyler Alexander, Abtin Tabaee, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine if the distinction between planum sphenoidale (PS) and tuberculum sellae (TS) meningiomas is clinically meaningful and impacts the results of the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA).

METHODS

A consecutive series of patients who were 18 years of age or older and underwent EEA for newly diagnosed grade I PS meningiomas (PSMs) and TS meningiomas (TSMs) between October 2007 and May 2021 were included. The PS and TS were distinguished by drawing a line passing through the center of the TS and perpendicular to the PS on postcontrast T1-weighted MRI. Probabilistic heatmaps were created to display the actual distribution of tumor volumes. Tumor volume, extent of resection (EOR), visual outcome, and complications were assessed.

RESULTS

The 47 tumors were distributed in a smooth continuum. Using an arbitrary definition, 24 (51%) were PSMs and 23 (49%) were TSMs. The mean volume of PSMs was 5.6 cm3 compared with 4.5 cm3 for TSMs. Canal invasion was present in 87.5% of PSMs and 52% of TSMs. GTR was achieved in 38 (84%) of 45 cases in which it was the goal, slightly less frequently for PSMs (78%) compared with TSMs (91%), although the difference was not significant. Th mean EOR was 99% ± 2% for PSMs and 98% ± 11% for TSMs. Neither the suprasellar notch angle nor the percentage of tumor above the PS impacted the rate of GTR. After a median follow-up of 28.5 months (range 0.1–131 months), there were 2 (5%) recurrences after GTR (n = 38) both of which occurred in patients with PSMs. Forty-two (89%) patients presented with preoperative impaired vision. Postoperative vision was stable or improved in 96% of patients with PSMs and 91% of patients with TSMs. CSF leakage occurred in 4 (16.6%) patients with a PSM, which resolved with only lumbar drainage, and in 1 (4.3%) patient with a TSM, which required reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

PSM and TSMs arise in a smooth distribution, making the distinction arbitrary. Those classified as PSMs were larger and more likely to invade the optic canals. Surgical outcome for both locations was similar, slightly favoring TSMs. The arbitrary distinction between PSMs and TSMs is less useful at predicting outcome than the lateral extent of the tumor, regardless of the site of origin.