Object. To overcome the limitations associated with surgical approaches that have been described for accessing intraparenchymal lesions of the anteromedial region of the superior cerebellum, the authors used a posterior subtemporal transtentorial approach to remove tumors in this region. In this paper they describe the surgical technique that they used as well as the operative findings and clinical outcomes observed in patients who underwent resection of tumors in the anteromedial superior cerebellum.
Methods. The consecutive patients with anteromedial superior cerebellar tumors who underwent resection performed using the posterior subtemporal transtentorial approach at the National Institutes of Health were included in this study. Clinical, neuroimaging, and operative results were analyzed.
Three patients (two men and one woman) with anteromedial superior cerebellar tumors (two hemangioblastomas and one pilocytic astrocytoma) underwent resection via this approach. All the tumors were larger than 3 cm in diameter (range 3.1–3.5 cm). This approach provided excellent surgical access and permitted complete tumor resection in each case. The patients remained neurologically unchanged compared with preoperative baseline findings at the last follow-up examination (conducted at 4, 18, and 42 months postoperatively). One patient displayed a mild transient confusion immediately after surgery, but it resolved within 6 days.
Conclusions. The posterior subtemporal transtentorial approach provides excellent access to the anteromedial superior cerebellar region. This approach permits resection of large lesions in this location, while avoiding many of the limitations associated with other approaches to this site.