The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for skull base tumors has become an important topic in recent years, but its use, merits, and demerits are still being debated. Herein, the authors describe the nuances and efficacy of the endoscopic endonasal extradural posterior clinoidectomy for maximal tumor exposure.
The surgical technique included extradural posterior clinoidectomy following lateral retraction of the paraclival internal carotid artery and extradural pituitary transposition. In cases with prominent posterior clinoid process, a midline sellar dura cut was added to facilitate extradural exposure. Forty-four consecutive patients, in whom this technique was performed between 2016 and 2018 at Osaka City University Hospital, were reviewed. The pathology included 19 craniopharyngiomas, 7 chordomas, 6 meningiomas, 6 pituitary adenomas, 4 chondrosarcomas, and 2 miscellaneous. Utilization and effectiveness of this approach were further demonstrated with neuroimaging.
Extradural posterior clinoidectomies were successfully applied in all patients without permanent neurovascular injury and with better maneuverability and greater resection rate of the tumors. Four patients experienced transient postoperative abducens nerve paresis, and 1 patient experienced transient postoperative oculomotor nerve paresis; however, the patients with deficits recovered within 3 months. On radiological examination, the surgical field was 2.2 times wider in cases with bilateral posterior clinoidectomy than in cases without posterior clinoidectomy.
The extended EEA with extradural posterior clinoidectomy creates an extra working space and allows adequate accessibility with safe surgical maneuverability to remove tumors that extend behind the posterior clinoid and dorsum sellae.