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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.

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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.

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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.

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James K. Liu, Qasim Husain, Vivek Kanumuri, Mohemmed N. Khan, Zachary S. Mendelson and Jean Anderson Eloy

OBJECT

Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas (JNAs) are formidable tumors because of their hypervascularity and difficult location in the skull base. Traditional transfacial procedures do not always afford optimal visualization and illumination, resulting in significant morbidity and poor cosmesis. The advent of endoscopic procedures has allowed for resection of JNAs with greater surgical freedom and decreased incidence of facial deformity and scarring.

METHODS

This report describes a graduated multiangle, multicorridor, endoscopic approach to JNAs that is illustrated in 4 patients, each with a different tumor location and extent. Four different surgical corridors in varying combinations were used to resect JNAs, based on tumor size and location, including an ipsilateral endonasal approach (uninostril); a contralateral, transseptal approach (binostril); a sublabial, transmaxillary Caldwell-Luc approach; and an orbitozygomatic, extradural, transcavernous, infratemporal fossa approach (transcranial). One patient underwent resection via an ipsilateral endonasal uninostril approach (Corridor 1) only. One patient underwent a binostril approach that included an additional contralateral transseptal approach (Corridors 1 and 2). One patient underwent a binostril approach with an additional sublabial Caldwell-Luc approach for lateral extension in the infratemporal fossa (Corridors 1–3). One patient underwent a combined transcranial and endoscopic endonasal/sublabial Caldwell-Luc approach (Corridors 1–4) for an extensive JNA involving both the lateral infratemporal fossa and cavernous sinus.

RESULTS

A graduated multiangle, multicorridor approach was used in a stepwise fashion to allow for maximal surgical exposure and maneuverability for resection of JNAs. Gross-total resection was achieved in all 4 patients. One patient had a postoperative CSF leak that was successfully repaired endoscopically. One patient had a delayed local recurrence that was successfully resected endoscopically. There were no vascular complications.

CONCLUSIONS

An individualized, multiangle, multicorridor approach allows for safe and effective surgical customization of access for resection of JNAs depending on the size and exact location of the tumor. Combining the endoscopic endonasal approach with a transcranial approach via an orbitozygomatic, extradural, transcavernous approach may be considered in giant extensive JNAs that have intracranial extension and intimate involvement of the cavernous sinus.

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James K. Liu

Large deep-seated meningiomas of the falcotentorial region present a formidable surgical challenge. In this operative video, the author demonstrates the combined bi-occipital suboccipital transsinus transtentorial approach for microsurgical resection of a large falcotentorial meningioma. This approach involves division of the less dominant transverse sinus after assessment of the venous pressure before and after clipping of the sinus with continuous neurophysiologic monitoring. Mild retraction of the occipital lobe and cerebellum results in a wide supra- and infratentorial exposure of extensive pineal region tumors. This video atlas demonstrates the operative technique and surgical nuances, including patient positioning, supra- and infratentorial craniotomy, transsinus transtentorial incision, and tumor removal with preservation of the vein of Galen complex. In summary, the combined bi-occipital suboccipital transsinus transtentorial approach provides a wide supra- and infratentorial surgical corridor for removal of select falcotentorial meningiomas.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/3aD8h2uwBAo.

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James K. Liu

The angle of the straight sinus and tentorium cerebelli can often influence the choice of surgical approach to the pineal region. The supracerebellar infratentorial approach can be technically challenging and a relative contraindication in cases where the angle of the straight sinus and tentorium is very steep. Similarly, an occipital transtentorial approach, which uses a low occipital craniotomy at the junction of the superior sagittal sinus and transverse sinus, may not provide the best trajectory to the pineal region in patients with a steep tentorium. In addition, this approach often necessitates retraction on the occipital lobe to access the tentorial incisura and pineal region, which can increase the risk of visual compromise. In this operative video, the author demonstrates an alternative route using an endoscopic-assisted interhemispheric parieto-occipital transtentorial approach to a pineal region tumor in a patient with a steep straight sinus and tentorium. The approach provided a shorter route and more direct trajectory to the tumor at the tentorial incisura, and avoided direct fixed retraction on the occipital lobe when performed using the lateral position, thereby minimizing visual complications. This video atlas demonstrates the operative technique and surgical nuances, including the application of endoscopic-assisted microsurgical resection and operative pearls for preservation of the deep cerebral veins. In summary, the parieto-occipital transtentorial approach with endoscopic assistance is an important approach in the armamentarium for surgical management of pineal region tumors.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/Ph4veG14aTk.

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James K. Liu and Michael A. Cohen

Falcotentorial meningiomas are rare tumors of the pineal region that arise from the dural folds where the falx and tentorium meet and are often intimately related to the vein of Galen and straight sinus. These lesions often present with signs and symptoms related to hydrocephalus and brainstem compression. Surgical resection of falcotentorial meningiomas remains the definitive treatment, with a variety of surgical approaches used to resect these lesions. The choice of approach depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor relative to the vein of Galen complex. Falcotentorial meningiomas can be technically challenging to remove with significant risk of morbidity because of the close proximity to and occasional invasion of the vein of Galen and straight sinus. In this operative video, the authors demonstrate an illustrative step-by-step technique for endoscopic-assisted microsurgical resection of a falcotentorial meningioma using the posterior interhemispheric retrocallosal transfalcine approach for a superiorly positioned falcotentorial meningioma. The surgical nuances are discussed, including the surgical anatomy, gravity-assisted interhemispheric approach in the lateral position, retrocallosal dissection, transfalcine exposure, tumor removal, and preservation of the vein of Galen complex. In summary, the posterior interhemispheric retrocallosal transfalcine approach is a useful surgical strategy for select superiorly positioned falcotentorial meningiomas.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/d8mdunsRacs.

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Renuka K. Reddy, Rohit K. Reddy, Robert W. Jyung, Jean Anderson Eloy and James K. Liu

A century ago an ambitious young anatomist in Rome, Primo Dorello, who sought to understand the cause of abducent nerve palsy that often occurred in patients with severe middle ear infections, conducted intricate studies on the intracranial course of the nerve. In his findings, he identified that the abducent nerve passes through a narrow sinus near the apex of the petrous bone, which formed an osteofibrous canal. Dorello suggested that in this enclosed region the abducent nerve may be particularly vulnerable to compression due to the vascular edema accompanying the infection. Although his work was widely appreciated, it was not well received by all. Interestingly, Giuseppe Gradenigo, one of the most prominent Italian otologists of the early 20th century, who was known for his work on a triad of symptoms (Gradenigo’s syndrome) that accompanies petrous apicitis, a result of severe middle ear infections, was obstinate in his criticism of Dorello’s findings. Thus a scientific duel began, with a series of correspondence between these two academics—one who was relatively new to the otological community (Dorello) and one who was well reputed in that community (Gradenigo). The disagreement ultimately ebbed in 1909, when Dorello published a report in response to Gradenigo’s criticisms and convinced Gradenigo to change his views.

Today Dorello’s canal is widely recognized as a key landmark in skull base surgery of the petroclival region and holds clinical significance due to its relation to the abducent nerve and surrounding vascular structures. Yet, although academics such as Dorello and Gradenigo are recognized for their work on the canal, it is important not to forget the others throughout history who have contributed to the modern-day understanding of this anatomical structure. In fact, although the level of anatomical detail found in Dorello’s work was previously unmatched, the first description of the canal was made by the experienced Austrian anatomist Wenzel Leopold Gruber in 1859, almost 50 years prior to Dorello’s landmark publication. Another critical figure in building the understanding of Dorello’s canal was Harris Holmes Vail, a young otolaryngologist from Harvard Medical School, who in 1922 became the first person to describe Dorello’s canal in the English language. Vail conducted his own detailed anatomical studies on cadavers, and his publication not only reaffirmed Dorello’s findings but also immortalized the eponym used today—“Dorello’s canal.”

In this article the authors review the life and contributions of Gruber, Dorello, Gradenigo, and Vail, four men who played a critical role in the discovery of Dorello’s canal and paved the way toward the current understanding of the canal as a key clinical and surgical entity.

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James K. Liu

Direct microsurgical clipping of complex paraclinoid carotid artery aneuryms remains a formidable technical challenge due to the auneurysm's deep location at the skull base, with adjacent bony anatomy, large size, wide neck, and complex neuroanatomical relationships. In this operative video atlas manuscript, the author demonstrates a step-by-step technique for microsurgical clip reconstruction of a large complex ventral paraclinoid carotid artery aneurysm, using a trapping and direct suction decompression strategy followed by multiple fenestrated clip reconstruction of the internal carotid artery (ICA) via a modified orbitozygomatic approach. The nuances of skull base techniques are illustrated including extradural optic nerve decompression, extradural anterior clinoidectomy, incision of the falciform ligament to untether the optic nerve, and release of the distal durai ring to obtain proximal control. Reconstruction of the ICA and preservation of the anterior choroidal artery were achieved with multiple fenestrated clips. Aneurysm obliteration and patency of flow through the ICA was confirmed on video indocyanine green and catheter angiography. Although novel endovascular strategies continue to evolve, these microsurgical skull base techniques should remain in the surgical armamentarium for treating these complex cranial base vascular lesions.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/IPS6lslk1ds.

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James K. Liu, Jimmy Patel, Ira M. Goldstein and Jean Anderson Eloy

The transoral approach is considered the gold-standard surgical route for performing anterior odontoidectomy and ventral decompression of the craniovertebral junction for pathological conditions that result in symptomatic cervicomedullary compression, including basilar invagination, rheumatoid pannus, platybasia with retroflexed odontoid processes, and neoplasms. Extended modifications to increase the operative corridor and exposure include the transmaxillary, extended “open-door” maxillotomy, transpalatal, and transmandibular approaches. With the advent of extended endoscopic endonasal skull base techniques, there has been increased interest in the last decade in the endoscopic endonasal transclival transodontoid approach to the craniovertebral junction. The endonasal route represents an attractive minimally invasive surgical alternative, especially in cases of irreducible basilar invagination in which the pathology is situated well above the palatine line. Angled endoscopes and instrumentation can also be used for lower-lying pathology. By avoiding the oral cavity and subsequently using a transoral retractor, the endonasal route has the advantages of avoiding complications related to tongue swelling, tracheal swelling, prolonged intubation, velopharyngeal insufficiency, dysphagia, and dysphonia. Postoperative recovery is quicker, and hospital stays are shorter. In this report, the authors describe and illustrate their method of purely endoscopic endonasal transclival odonotoidectomy for anterior decompression of the craniovertebral junction and describe various operative pearls and nuances of the technique for avoiding complications.