Transcallosal approach for tumors of the lateral and third ventricles

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  • Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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Tumors that arise within the ventricles present a unique surgical challenge. Because of their deep location, relatively large size, and their association with hydrocephalus, surgical planning requires a careful assessment of the optimal method to access the lesion and to provide adequate exposure for tumor resection. The transcallosal approach to the lateral ventricles often is the best procedure by which to achieve these goals.

Partial sectioning of the corpus callosum does not cause significant neurological deficits; however, if the surgery induces additional brain injury, the neurological deficits can be more severe in the presence of a callosotomy. Knowledge of the techniques of transcallosal surgery and careful preoperative planning can reduce the risk of permanent neurological impairment; these range from protection of the cortical veins that drain into the superior sagittal sinus to brain relaxation and ventricular drainage, as well as proper identification of anatomical landmarks within the ventricle. The transcallosal approach can offer a relatively easy access to the lateral and third ventricles, and with proper planning it can reduce the morbidity associated with resection of lesions within these compartments.

Abbreviation used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance.

Tumors that arise within the ventricles present a unique surgical challenge. Because of their deep location, relatively large size, and their association with hydrocephalus, surgical planning requires a careful assessment of the optimal method to access the lesion and to provide adequate exposure for tumor resection. The transcallosal approach to the lateral ventricles often is the best procedure by which to achieve these goals.

Partial sectioning of the corpus callosum does not cause significant neurological deficits; however, if the surgery induces additional brain injury, the neurological deficits can be more severe in the presence of a callosotomy. Knowledge of the techniques of transcallosal surgery and careful preoperative planning can reduce the risk of permanent neurological impairment; these range from protection of the cortical veins that drain into the superior sagittal sinus to brain relaxation and ventricular drainage, as well as proper identification of anatomical landmarks within the ventricle. The transcallosal approach can offer a relatively easy access to the lateral and third ventricles, and with proper planning it can reduce the morbidity associated with resection of lesions within these compartments.

Abbreviation used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Joseph M. Piepmeier, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06520.email: joseph.piepmeier@yale.edu.

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