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360° around the orbit: key surgical anatomy of the microsurgical and endoscopic cranio-orbital and orbitocranial approaches

Edoardo Agosti, A. Yohan Alexander, Pedro Plou, Luciano C. P. C. Leonel, Alessandro De Bonis, Megan M. J. Bauman, Ainhoa García-Lliberós, Amedeo Piazza, Fabio Torregrossa, Carlos D. Pinheiro Neto, and Maria Peris Celda

OBJECTIVE

Several pathologies either invade or arise within the orbit. These include meningiomas, schwannomas, and cavernous hemangiomas among others. Although several studies describing various approaches to the orbit are available, no study describes all cranio-orbital and orbitocranial approaches with clear, surgically oriented anatomical descriptions. As such, this study aimed to provide a comprehensive guide to the microsurgical and endoscopic approaches to and through the orbit.

METHODS

Six formalin-fixed, latex-injected cadaveric head specimens were dissected in the surgical anatomy laboratory at the authors’ institution. In each specimen, the following approaches were modularly performed: endoscopic transorbital approaches (ETOAs), including a lateral transorbital approach and a superior eyelid crease approach; endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs), including those to the medial orbit and optic canal; and transcranial approaches, including a supraorbital approach, a fronto-orbital approach, and a 3-piece orbito-zygomatic approach. Each pertinent step was 3D photograph–documented with macroscopic and endoscopic techniques as previously described.

RESULTS

Endoscopic endonasal approaches to the orbit afforded excellent access to the medial orbit and medial optic canal. Regarding ETOAs, the lateral transorbital approach afforded excellent access to the floor of the middle fossa and, once the lateral orbital rim was removed, the cavernous sinus could be dissected and the petrous apex drilled. The superior eyelid approach provides excellent access to the anterior cranial fossa just superior to the orbit, as well as the dura of the lesser wing of the sphenoid. Craniotomy-based approaches provided excellent access to the anterior and middle cranial fossa and the cavernous sinus, except the supraorbital approach had limited access to the middle fossa.

CONCLUSIONS

This study outlines the essential surgical steps for major cranio-orbital and orbitocranial approaches. Endoscopic endonasal approaches offer direct medial access, potentially providing bilateral exposure to optic canals. ETOAs serve as both orbital access and as a corridor to surrounding regions. Cranio-orbital approaches follow a lateral-to-medial, superior-to-inferior trajectory, progressively allowing removal of protective bony structures for proportional orbit access.

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Anterolateral keyhole transorbital routes to the skull base: a comparative anatomical study

Maria Karampouga, Anna K. Terrarosa, Bhuvic Patel, Kyle Affolter, Eric W. Wang, Garret W. Choby, Roxana Fu, Gabrielle R. Bonhomme, S. Tonya Stefko, Michael M. McDowell, Carl H. Snyderman, Paul A. Gardner, and Georgios A. Zenonos

OBJECTIVE

Although keyhole transorbital approaches are gaining traction, their indications have not been adequately studied comparatively. In this study the authors have defined them also as transwing approaches—meaning that they use the different facies of the sphenoid wing for cranial entry—and sought to compare the four major ones: 1) lateral orbitocraniotomy through a lateral canthal incision (LatOrb); 2) modified orbitozygomatic approach through a palpebral incision (ModOzPalp); 3) modified orbitozygomatic approach through an eyebrow incision (ModOzEyB); and 4) supraorbital craniotomy through an eyebrow incision (SupraOrb), coupled with its expanded version (SupraTransOrb).

METHODS

Cadaveric dissections were performed at the neuroanatomy lab. To delineate the skull base exposure, four formalin-fixed heads were used, with two sides dedicated to each approach. The outer limits were assessed via image guidance and were mapped and illustrated accordingly. A fifth head was dissected purely endoscopically, just to facilitate an overview of the transwing concept. Qualitative features were also rigorously examined.

RESULTS

The LatOrb proves to be more versatile in the middle cranial fossa (MCF), whereas the anterior cranial fossa (ACF) exposure is limited to a small area above the sphenoid ridge. An anterior clinoidectomy is possible; however, the exposure of the roof of the optic canal is suboptimal. The ModOzPalp adequately exposes both the ACF and MCF. Its lateral trajectory allows the inferior to superior view, yet there is restricted access to the medial anterior skull base (olfactory groove). The ModOzEyB also provides extensive exposure of the ACF and MCF, but has a more superior to inferior trajectory compared to the ModOzPalp, making it more appropriate for pathology reaching the medial anterior skull base or even the contralateral side. The anterior clinoidectomy is performed with improved visualization of the optic canal. The SupraOrb provides mainly anterior cranial base exposure, with minimal middle fossa. An anterior clinoidectomy can be performed, but without any direct observation of the superior orbital fissure. Some MCF access can be accomplished if the lateral sphenoid wing is drilled inferiorly, leading to its highly versatile variant, the SupraTransOrb.

CONCLUSIONS

All the aforementioned approaches use the sphenoid wing as skull base corridor from a specific orientation point; hence these are designated as transwing approaches. Their peculiarities mandate careful case selection for the effective and safe completion of the surgical goals.

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Clinical outcomes and complications of eyelid versus eyebrow approaches to supraorbital craniotomy: systematic review and indirect meta-analysis

Gnel Pivazyan, Carlos Aguilera, Jiaqi Liu, Ziam Khan, Georgia M. Wong, Ehsan Dowlati, Kelsi Chesney, Jeffrey C. Mai, Amjad Anaizi, and Samir Sur

OBJECTIVE

Eyebrow supraorbital craniotomy is a versatile keyhole technique for treating intracranial pathologies. The eyelid supraorbital approach, an alternative approach to an eyebrow supraorbital craniotomy, has not been widely adopted among most neurosurgeons. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to perform a pooled analysis of the complications of eyebrow or eyelid approaches for the treatment of aneurysms, meningiomas, and orbital tumors.

METHODS

A systematic review of the literature in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Review databases was conducted for identifying relevant literature using keywords such as "supraorbital," "eyelid," "eyebrow," "tumor," and "aneurysm." Eyebrow supraorbital craniotomies with or without orbitotomies and eyelid supraorbital craniotomies with orbitotomies for the treatment of orbital tumors, intracranial meningiomas, and aneurysms were selected. The primary outcomes were overall complications, cosmetic complications, and residual aneurysms and tumors. Secondary outcomes included five complication domains: orbital, wound-related, scalp or facial, neurological, and other complications.

RESULTS

One hundred three articles were included in the synthesis. The pooled numbers of patients in the eyebrow and eyelid groups were 4689 and 358, respectively. No differences were found in overall complications or cosmetic complications between the eyebrow and eyelid groups. The proportion of residuals in the eyelid group (11.21%, effect size [ES] 0.26, 95% CI 0.12–0.41) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in the eyebrow group (6.17%, ES 0.10, 95% CI 0.08–0.13). A subgroup analysis demonstrated significantly higher incidences of orbital, wound-related, and scalp or facial complications in the eyelid group (p < 0.05), but higher other complications in the eyebrow group. Performing an orbitotomy substantially increased the complication risk.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first meta-analysis that quantitatively compared complications of eyebrow versus eyelid approaches to supraorbital craniotomy. This study found similar overall complication rates but higher rates of selected complication domains in the eyelid group. The literature is limited by a high degree of variability in the reported outcomes.

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Endoscopic precaruncular medial transorbital and endonasal multiport approaches to the contralateral skull base: a clinicoanatomical study

Govind S. Bhuskute, Jaskaran Singh Gosal, Mohammad Bilal Alsavaf, Sunil Manjila, Kyle C. Wu, Mohammed Alwabili, Moataz D. Abouammo, Ravi Sankar Manogaran, Darlene E. Lubbe, Ricardo L. Carrau, and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive endoscopic endonasal multiport approaches create additional visualization angles to treat skull base pathologies. The sublabial contralateral transmaxillary (CTM) approach and superior eyelid lateral transorbital approach, frequently used nowadays, have been referred to as the "third port" when used alongside the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA). The endoscopic precaruncular contralateral medial transorbital (cMTO) corridor, on the other hand, is an underrecognized but unique port that has been used to repair CSF rhinorrhea originating from the lateral sphenoid sinus recess. However, no anatomical feasibility studies or clinical experience exists to assess its benefits and demonstrate its potential role in multiport endoscopic access to the other contralateral skull base areas. In this study, the authors explored the application and potential utility of multiport EEA combined with the endoscopic cMTO approach (EEA/cMTO) to three target areas of the contralateral skull base: lateral recess of sphenoid sinus (LRSS), petrous apex (PA) and petroclival region, and retrocarotid clinoidocavernous space (CCS).

METHODS

Ten cadaveric specimens (20 sides) were dissected bilaterally under stereotactic navigation guidance to access contralateral LRSS via EEA/cMTO. The PA and petroclival region and retrocarotid CCS were exposed via EEA alone, EEA/cMTO, and EEA combined with the sublabial CTM approach (EEA/CTM). Qualitative and quantitative assessments, including working distance and visualization angle to the PA, were recorded. Clinical application of EEA/cMTO is demonstrated in a lateral sphenoid sinus CSF leak repair.

RESULTS

During the qualitative assessment, multiport EEA/cMTO provides superior visualization from a high vantage point and better instrument maneuverability than multiport EEA/CTM for the PA and retrocarotid CCS, while maintaining a similar lateral trajectory. The cMTO approach has significantly shorter working distances to all three target areas compared with the CTM approach and EEA. The mean distances to the LRSS, PA, and retrocarotid CCS were 50.69 ± 4.28 mm (p < 0.05), 67.11 ± 5.05 mm (p < 0.001), and 50.32 ± 3.6 mm (p < 0.001), respectively. The mean visualization angles to the PA obtained by multiport EEA/cMTO and EEA/CTM were 28.4° ± 3.27° and 24.42° ± 5.02° (p < 0.005), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiport EEA/cMTO to the contralateral LRSS offers the advantage of preserving the pterygopalatine fossa contents and the vidian nerve, which are frequently sacrificed during a transpterygoid approach. This approach also offers superior visualization and better instrument maneuverability compared with EEA/CTM for targeting the petroclival region and retrocarotid CCS.

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Endoscopic transorbital approach bone pillars: a comprehensive stepwise anatomical appraisal

Marta Codes, Alejandra Mosteiro, Roberto Tafuto, Lorena Gomez, Jessica Matas, Isam Alobid, Mauricio Lopez, Alberto Prats-Galino, Joaquim Enseñat, and Alberto Di Somma

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic superior eyelid transorbital approach has garnered significant consideration and gained popularity in recent years. Detailed anatomical knowledge along with clinical experience has allowed refinement of the technique as well as expansion of its indications. Using bone as a consistent reference, the authors identified five main bone pillars that offer access to the different intracranial targeted areas for different pathologies of the skull base, with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the intracranial areas accessible through this corridor.

METHODS

The authors present a bone-oriented review of the anatomy of the transorbital approach in which they conducted a 3D analysis using Brainlab software and performed dry skull and subsequent cadaveric dissections.

RESULTS

Five bone pillars of the transorbital approach were identified: the lesser sphenoid wing, the sagittal crest (medial aspect of the greater sphenoid wing), the anterior clinoid, the middle cranial fossa, and the petrous apex. The associations of these bone targets with their respective intracranial areas are reported in detail.

CONCLUSIONS

Identification of consistent bone references after the skin incision has been made and the working space is determined allows a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy of the approach in order to safely and effectively perform transorbital endoscopic surgery in the skull base.

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Improved optic nerve visualization and treatment planning through a dedicated optic nerve MRI protocol

Kyle C. Wu, Jeffrey P. Guenette, Raymond Y. Huang, Ossama Al-Mefty, Ian F. Dunn, and Wenya Linda Bi

OBJECTIVE

This study describes an innovative optic nerve MRI protocol for better delineating optic nerve anatomy from neighboring pathology.

METHODS

Twenty-two patients undergoing MRI examination of the optic nerve with the dedicated protocol were identified and included for analysis of imaging, surgical strategy, and outcomes. T2-weighted and fat-suppressed T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced images were acquired perpendicular and parallel to the long axis of the optic nerve to achieve en face and in-line views along the course of the nerve.

RESULTS

Dedicated optic nerve MRI sequences provided enhanced visualization of the nerve, CSF within the nerve sheath, and local pathology. Optic nerve sequences leveraged the "CSF ring" within the optic nerve sheath to create contrast between pathology and normal tissue, highlighting areas of compression. Tumor was readily tracked along the longitudinal axis of the nerve by images obtained parallel to the nerve. The findings augmented treatment planning.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors present a dedicated optic nerve MRI protocol that is simple to use and affords improved cross-sectional and longitudinal visualization of the nerve, surrounding CSF, and pathology. This improved visualization enhances radiological evaluation and treatment planning for optic nerve lesions.

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Introduction. Navigating frontiers to and through the orbit: cranio-orbital and orbitocranial approaches unveiled

Christian Matula, Georgios Zenonos, Nickalus Khan, A. Samy Youssef, Kris Moe, and Maria Peris Celda

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The lateral retrocanthal transorbital endoscopic approach to the middle fossa: cadaveric stepwise approach and review of quantitative cadaveric data

Spyridon Komaitis, Georgios P. Skandalakis, Evangelos Drosos, Eleftherios Neromyliotis, Eirini Charalampopoulou, Lykourgos Anastasopoulos, Georgios Zenonos, George Stranjalis, Aristotelis Kalyvas, and Christos Koutsarnakis

OBJECTIVE

The lateral retrocanthal transorbital endoscopic approach (LRCTEA) facilitates trajectory to the middle fossa, preserving the lateral canthal tendon and thus avoiding postoperative complications such as eyelid malposition. Here, the authors sought to define the surgical anatomy and technique of LRCTEA using a stepwise approach in cadaveric heads and offer an in-depth examination of existing quantitative data from cadaveric studies.

METHODS

The authors performed LRCTEA to the middle cranial fossa under neuronavigation in 7 cadaveric head specimens that underwent high-resolution (1-mm) CT scans preceding the dissections.

RESULTS

The LRCTEA provided access to middle fossa regions including the cavernous sinus, Meckel’s cave, and medial temporal lobe. The trajectories and endpoints of the approach were confirmed using electromagnetic neuronavigation. A stepwise approach was delineated and recorded.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ cadaveric study delineates the surgical anatomy and technique of the LRCTEA, providing a stepwise approach for its implementation. As these approaches continue to evolve, their development and refinement will play an important role in expanding the surgical options available to neurosurgeons, ultimately improving outcomes for patients with complex skull base pathologies. The LRCTEA presents a promising advancement in skull base surgery, particularly for accessing challenging middle fossa regions. However, surgeons must remain vigilant to potential complications, including transient diplopia, orbital hematoma, or damage to the optic apparatus.

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Letter to the Editor. Is spinal surgery appropriate for topical tranexamic acid?

Dong Wang, Man-Hai Gao, and Rong Li

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The military assignations of Thierry de Martel (1875–1940), French neurosurgery pioneer, during World War I

Johan Pallud, Angela Elia, Alexandre Roux, and Marc Zanello