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Open access

James K. Liu, Kevin Zhao, Alejandro Vazquez and Jean Anderson Eloy

Tumors of the infratemporal fossa (ITF) are surgically formidable lesions due to their deep location and proximity to critical neurovascular structures. Selecting the optimal surgical corridor for a giant ITF lesion with extensive medial and lateral extension can be challenging due to the limited surgical freedom offered by each individual approach. In this operative video, we demonstrate a case of a 44-year-old female with a giant ITF schwannoma with intracranial extension and erosion of the central skull base. Although we considered several surgical approaches, including a standard binostril endoscopic endonasal approach and an endoscopic Denker’s approach, we eventually chose a combined endoscopic endonasal and sublabial (Caldwell-Luc) transmaxillary approach. This combined approach provides significantly greater surgical freedom than a pure endonasal route to the lateral ITF. The sublabial Caldwell-Luc corridor provides a more direct “head-on” trajectory to the target of the lateral ITF than the pure endonasal route. This combined approach provides a multiportal, multicorridor access, allowing for more surgical freedom and preservation of the piriform aperture and nasolacrimal duct. This case illustrates the versatility of the combined endoscopic endonasal and sublabial transmaxillary approach for giant ITF tumors with significant lateral extension. The technical nuances and surgical concepts are demonstrated in this operative video manuscript.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/gy-pkjLdDgE.

Open access

James K. Liu, Kevin Zhao and Jean Anderson Eloy

Craniopharyngioma is a rare and benign intracranial tumor of the sellar and suprasellar region. Historically, these tumors were mostly accessed through transcranial corridors and resected with microsurgical techniques. Endoscopic endonasal surgery has recently gained popularity in the treatment of these tumors and has shown at least comparable results to transcranial approaches. The endoscopic endonasal approach provides direct midline access through a transplanum transtuberculum corridor and gives excellent visualization of the undersurface of the optic chiasm to allow safe bimanual sharp dissection of the tumor from the hypothalamus. In this operative video, we demonstrate the case of a 56-year-old female who had a complex craniopharyngioma with solid and cystic components extending superolaterally into the right frontal lobe. This lesion was invasive and partially encased the right optic nerve, optic chiasm, and anterior communicating artery complex. Although a traditional transcranial approach could have been utilized, we elected for an endoscopic endonasal approach for a maximal safe near-total resection, preserving the neurovascular structures. The patient underwent radiation therapy with favorable regression of the residual tumor on subsequent imaging studies. This case illustrates the feasibility of a combined strategy of maximal safe endoscopic endonasal resection followed by early radiation therapy for a complex, invasive cystic and solid craniopharyngioma. The technical nuances of safe bimanual microsurgical dissection of tumor adhesions off of critical neurovascular structures are demonstrated.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/z0AINLpRZGs.

Restricted access

Neil Majmundar, Pratit Patel, Vincent Dodson, Ivo Bach, James K. Liu, Luke Tomycz and Priyank Khandelwal

OBJECTIVE

The transradial approach (TRA) has been widely adopted by interventional cardiologists but is only now being accepted by neurointerventionalists. The benefits of the TRA over the traditional transfemoral approach (TFA) include reduced risk of adverse clinical events and faster recovery. The authors assessed the safety and feasibility of the TRA for neurointerventional cases in the pediatric population.

METHODS

Pediatric patients undergoing cerebrovascular interventions since implementation of the TRA at the authors’ institution were retrospectively reviewed. Pertinent patient information, procedure indications, vessels catheterized, fluoroscopy time, and complications were reviewed.

RESULTS

There were 4 patients in this case series, and their ages ranged from 13 to 15 years. Each patient tolerated the procedure performed using the TRA without any postprocedural issues, and only 1 patient experienced radial artery spasm, which resolved with the administration of intraarterial verapamil. None of the patients required conversion to the TFA.

CONCLUSIONS

The TRA can be considered a safe alternative to the TFA for neurointerventional procedures in the pediatric population and provides potential advantages. However, as pediatric patients require special consideration due to their smaller-caliber arteries, routine use of ultrasound guidance is advised when attempting the TRA.

Open access

M. Yashar S. Kalani, Robert F. Spetzler, Rudolf Fahlbusch and James K. Liu

Open access

James K. Liu and Vincent N. Dodson

Cervicomedullary gangliogliomas are rare low-grade neoplasms of the brainstem. They can be challenging lesions to resect due to the eloquent location in the brainstem. In some instances, the absence of a clear surgical plane between the tumor and normal neural tissue can prohibit a complete resection. Therefore, it is important to leave a thin rim of residual tumor at the tumor-brainstem interface in order to avoid irreversible neurological injury. In this operative video, the authors demonstrate the technique to develop a surgical pseudoplane using sharp microdissection for a cervicomedullary brainstem ganglioglioma without a clear interface between the tumor and normal neural tissue. This strategy allowed for radical near-total resection of the tumor, thereby maximizing the extent of removal while preserving neurological function. Postoperatively, the patient had normal neurological function and returned to work without any disability. In summary, due to the lack of a clear surgical dissection plane, a pseudoplane near the surgical interface can be performed using sharp dissection to facilitate radical near-total resection.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/biD4G1Hh0yk.

Open access

James K. Liu and Vincent N. Dodson

Fourth ventricular tumors have traditionally been removed via transvermian approaches, which can result in potential dysequilibrium and mutism. The telovelar approach is an excellent alternative to widely expose fourth ventricular tumors without transgressing the cerebellar vermis. This is achieved by opening the cerebellomedullary fissure and incising the tela choroidea and inferior medullary velum, which form the lower half of the roof of the fourth ventricle. In this operative video manuscript, the authors demonstrate microsurgical resection of a fourth ventricular subependymoma arising from the rhomboid fossa via the telovelar approach. The key technical nuance in this video is to demonstrate a gentle and safe technique to identify a dissectable plane to peel the tumor off of the rhomboid fossa using a microspreading technique with fine micro-bayonetted forceps. A gross-total resection was achieved, and the patient was neurologically intact.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ZEHHbUGb9zk.

Open access

James K. Liu and Vincent N. Dodson

Brainstem cavernous malformations are formidable lesions because of their eloquent location and propensity for bleeding resulting in neurological impairment. The surgical management can be challenging due to their deep location around critical neurovascular structures. In this operative video manuscript, the authors demonstrate resection of a large recurrent pontine cavernous malformation with an exophytic component in the cerebellopontine angle via a combined petrosal approach. Both anterior and posterior (retrolabyrinthine) petrosectomies were performed to allow multi-corridor access to the lesion. Due to excessive scar formation from prior surgeries, sharp dissection was paramount to create dissection planes around the lesion. This video atlas demonstrates the operative technique and surgical nuances of the skull base approach, safe resection of the malformation through the operative corridor, gentle handling of the neurovascular structures and a multi-layered reconstruction technique to prevent cerebrospinal fluid leakage. The use of endoscopic-assisted microsurgery of the brainstem is also demonstrated. A gross total resection was achieved, and the patient improved neurologically. In summary, the combined petrosal approach with endoscopic assistance is an important strategy in the armamentarium for the surgical management of brainstem cavernous malformations.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/oAETW6tVc_Y.

Free access

James K. Liu, Nicole A. Silva, Ilesha A. Sevak and Jean Anderson Eloy

OBJECTIVE

There has been much debate regarding the optimal surgical approach for resecting olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs). In this paper, the authors analyzed the factors involved in approach selection and reviewed the surgical outcomes in a series of OGMs.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 28 consecutive OGMs from a prospective database was conducted. Each tumor was treated via one of 3 approaches: transbasal approach (n = 15), pure endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA; n = 5), and combined (endoscope-assisted) transbasal-EEA (n = 8).

RESULTS

The mean tumor volume was greatest in the transbasal (92.02 cm3) and combined (101.15 cm3) groups. Both groups had significant lateral dural extension over the orbits (transbasal 73.3%, p < 0.001; combined 100%), while the transbasal group had the most cerebral edema (73.3%, p < 0.001) and vascular involvement (66.7%, p < 0.001), and the least presence of a cortical cuff (33.3%, p = 0.019). All tumors in the combined group were recurrent tumors that invaded into the sinonasal cavity. The purely EEA group had the smallest mean tumor volume (33.33 cm3), all with a cortical cuff and no lateral dural extension. Gross-total resection was achieved in 80% of transbasal, 100% of EEA, and 62.5% of combined cases. Near-total resection (> 95%) was achieved in 20% of transbasal and 37.5% of combined cases, all due to tumor adherence to the critical neurovascular structures. The rate of CSF leakage was 0% in the transbasal and combined groups, and there was 1 leak in the EEA group (20%), resulting in an overall CSF leakage rate of 3.6%. Olfaction was preserved in 66.7% in the transbasal group. There was no significant difference in length of stay or 30-day readmission rate between the 3 groups. The mean modified Rankin Scale score was 0.79 after the transbasal approach, 2.0 after EEA, and 2.4 after the combined approach (p = 0.0604). The mean follow-up was 14.5 months (range 1–76 months).

CONCLUSIONS

The transbasal approach provided the best clinical outcomes with the lowest rate of complications for large tumors (> 40 mm) and for smaller tumors (< 40 mm) with intact olfaction. The role of EEA appears to be limited to smaller, appropriately selected tumors in which olfaction is already absent. EEA also plays an important adjunctive role when combined with the transbasal approach for recurrent OGMs invading the sinonasal cavity. Careful patient selection using an individualized, tailored strategy is important to optimize surgical outcomes.

Free access

James K. Liu

The surgical management of petroclival meningiomas remains a formidable challenge. These tumors are deep in the base of the skull and arise medial to the fifth cranial nerve. In this operative video, the author demonstrates the extended middle fossa approach with anterior petrosectomy to resect an upper petroclival meningioma extending into Meckel’s cave with brainstem compression. This approach is very useful for accessing deep tumors located above and below the tentorium, and between the fifth and seventh cranial nerves. Access to Meckel’s cave is readily achieved by opening the fibrous ring of the porous trigeminus. This video demonstrates the operative technique and surgical nuances of the skull base approach, useful anatomic landmarks of the middle fossa rhomboid for safe petrosectomy drilling, pearls for cranial nerve and neuro-otologic preservation, and exposure of Meckel’s cave. A gross-total resection was achieved, and the patient was neurologically intact. In summary, the extended middle fossa approach with anterior petrosectomy is an important strategy in the armamentarium for surgical management of petroclival meningiomas.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/jttwJIYPHC8.

Free access

James K. Liu, Ilesha A. Sevak, Peter W. Carmel and Jean Anderson Eloy

Resection remains the mainstay of treatment for craniopharyngiomas with the goal of radical resection, if safely possible, to minimize the rate of recurrence. Endoscopic endonasal and microscopic transcranial surgical approaches have both become standard methods for the treatment for craniopharyngiomas. However, the approach selection paradigm for craniopharyngiomas is still a point of discussion. Choosing the optimal surgical approach can play a significant role in maximizing the extent of resection and surgical outcome while minimizing the risks of potential complications. Craniopharyngiomas can present with a variety of different sizes, locations, and tumor consistencies, and each individual tumor has distinct features that favor one specific approach over another. The authors review standard cranial base techniques applied to craniopharyngioma surgery, using both the endoscopic endonasal approach and traditional open microsurgical approaches, and analyze factors involved in approach selection. They discuss their philosophy of approach selection based on the location and extent of the tumor on preoperative imaging as well as the advantages and limitations of each surgical corridor, and they describe the operative nuances of each technique, using a personalized, tailored approach to the individual patient with illustrative cases and videos.