Surgical management of petroclival meningiomas: factors determining the choice of approach

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Petroclival meningiomas remain one of the most challenging intracranial tumors to treat surgically. This is attributable to their location deep within the skull base and their association with multiple critical neural and vascular structures. Over the years, many skull base approaches have been described that are meant to improve resection and decrease patient morbidity. Appropriate selection of the surgical approach requires a thorough preoperative evaluation of clinical and radiological factors. In this paper the authors retrospectively reviewed 97 patients treated surgically for petroclival meningiomas by the senior author (O.A.M.) between 1995 and 2005 to assess the factors used to determine the choice of surgical approach, and to assess complication rates based on the approach selected. The skull base approaches used in these patients included the middle fossa anterior petrosal, posterior petrosal, and combined petrosal approaches, and complete petrosectomy. Factors found to be important in determining the selection of approach included the size, location, and extension of the tumor, preoperative hearing evaluation, and venous sinus anatomy.

Abbreviations used in this paper:BA = basilar artery; CT = computerized tomography; IAM = internal auditory meatus; MR = magnetic resonance.

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Address reprint requests to: Ossama Al-Mefty, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Slot 507, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205. email:

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