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Matei A. Banu, Alpesh Mehta, Malte Ottenhausen, Justin F. Fraser, Kunal S. Patel, Oszkar Szentirmai, Vijay K. Anand, Apostolos J. Tsiouris, and Theodore H. Schwartz


Although the endonasal endoscopic approach has been applied to remove olfactory groove meningiomas, controversy exists regarding the efficacy and safety of this approach compared with more traditional transcranial approaches. The endonasal endoscopic approach was compared with the supraorbital (eyebrow) keyhole technique, as well as a combined “above-and-below” approach, to evaluate the relative merits of each approach in different situations.


Nineteen cases were reviewed and divided according to operative technique into 3 different groups: purely endonasal (6 cases); supraorbital eyebrow (microscopic with endoscopic assistance; 7 cases); and combined endonasal endoscopic with either the bicoronal or eyebrow microscopic approach (6 cases). Resection was judged on postoperative MRI using volumetric analysis. Tumors were assessed based on the Mohr radiological classification and the presence of the lion’s mane sign.


The mean age at surgery was 61.4 years. The mean tumor volume was 19.6 cm3 in the endonasal group, 33.5 cm3 in the supraorbital group, and 37.8 cm3 in the combined group. Significant frontal lobe edema was identified in 10 cases (52.6%). The majority of tumors were either Mohr Grade II (moderate) (42.1%) or Grade III (large) (47.4%). Gross-total resection was achieved in 50% of the endonasal cases, 100% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases with endoscopic assistance, and 66.7% of the combined cases. The extent of resection was 87.8% for the endonasal cases, 100% for the supraorbital eyebrow cases, and 98.9% for the combined cases. Postoperative anosmia occurred in 100% of the endonasal and combined cases and only 57.1% of the supraorbital eyebrow cases. Excluding anosmia, permanent complications occurred in 83.3% of the cases in the endoscopic group, 0% of the cases in the supraorbital eyebrow group, and 16.7% of cases in the combined group (p = 0.017). There were 3 tumor recurrences: 2 in the endonasal group and 1 in the combined group.


The supraorbital eyebrow approach, with endoscopic assistance, leads to a higher extent of resection and lower rate of complications than the purely endonasal endoscopic approach. The endonasal endoscopic approach by itself may be suitable for a small percentage of cases. The combined above-and-below approaches are useful for large tumors with invasion of the ethmoid sinuses.

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Justin F. Fraser, Gurston G. Nyquist, Nicholas Moore, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz


Transcranial approaches to clival chordomas provide a circuitous route to the site of origin of the tumor often involving extensive bone drilling and brain retraction, which places critical neurovascular structures between the surgeon and pathology. For certain chordomas, the endonasal endoscopic transclival approach is a novel minimal access, but it is an equally aggressive alternative providing the most direct route to the tumor epicenter.


The authors present a consecutive series of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic resection of clival chordomas. Extent of resection was determined by postoperative volumetric MR imaging and divided into > 95% and < 95%.


Seven patients underwent 10 operations. Preoperative cranial neuropathies were present in 4. The mean patient age was 52.0 years. The mean tumor volume was 34.9 cm3. Intraoperative lumbar drainage was used in 1 patient, and the tumors extended intradurally in 3. One patient underwent 2 intentionally palliative procedures for subtotal debulking. Greater than 95% resection was achieved in 7 of 8 operations in which radical resection was the goal (87%). All tumors with volumes < 50 cm3 had > 95% resection (p = 0.05). The overall mean follow-up was 18.0 months. Cranial neuropathies resolved in all 3 patients with cranial nerve VI palsies. One patient with recurrent nasopharyngeal chordoma died of disease progression; another experienced 2 recurrences before receiving radiation therapy. All surviving patients remain progression free. There were no intraoperative complications; however, 1 patient developed a pulmonary embolus postoperatively. There were no postoperative CSF leaks.


The endonasal endoscopic transclival approach represents a less invasive and more direct approach than a transcranial approach to treat certain moderate-sized midline skull base chordomas. Longer follow-up is necessary to determine comparability to transcranial approaches for long-term control. Large tumors with significant extension lateral to the carotid artery may not be suitable for this approach.

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Justin F. Fraser, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

✓The authors present the case of a 71-year-old man who presented with neck pain, a history of gout, and a mass in the dens. Results of transoral endoscopic biopsy sampling demonstrated tophaceous gout. The patient was treated medically and the pain resolved. Tophaceous gout isolated in the dens is extremely rare and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of masses in this region. With the aid of transoral or transnasal endoscopic biopsy sampling, the diagnosis can be reached in a minimally invasive manner.