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Open access

Intraoperative confocal laser endomicroscopy for interpretation of a sellar hemangioblastoma: illustrative case

Irakliy Abramov, Charuta G Furey, Yuan Xu, Jennifer M Eschbacher, Kris A Smith, and Mark C Preul

BACKGROUND

Intraoperative frozen sections play a critical role in surgical strategy because of their ability to provide rapid histopathological information. In cases in which intraoperative biopsy carries a significant risk of bleeding, intraoperative confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) can assist in decision-making.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a rare case of a large sellar hemangioblastoma. Preoperative radiographic imaging and normal pituitary function suggested a differential diagnosis that included hemangioblastoma. The patient underwent partial preoperative embolization and a right-sided pterional craniotomy for resection of the lesion. Gross intraoperative examination revealed a highly vascular sellar lesion requiring circumferential dissection to minimize blood loss. The serious vascularity precluded intraoperative frozen section analysis, and CLE imaging was performed. CLE imaging provided excellent visualization of the remarkable vascular structure and characteristic histoarchitecture with microvasculature, intracytoplasmic vacuoles, and atypical cells consistent with hemangioblastoma. Resection and decompression of the chiasm was accomplished, and the patient was discharged with improved vision. The final histopathological diagnosis was hemangioblastoma.

LESSONS

When the benefits of obtaining intraoperative frozen sections greatly outweigh the associated risks, CLE imaging can aid in decision-making. CLE imaging offers real-time, on-the-fly evaluation of intraoperative tissue without the need to biopsy a vascular lesion.

Open access

Arteriovenous malformation with unique drainage through the emissary vein of the foramen ovale: illustrative case

Xiaochun Zhao, Alexander R Evans, Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Nicholas Hopkins, Ira Bowen, Shyian S Jen, Mark C Preul, and Karl Balsara

BACKGROUND

As part of the laterotrigeminal venous system (LTVS), the emissary vein of the foramen ovale (EVFO) is an underrecognized venous structure communicating between the cavernous sinus and pterygoid plexus. The sphenobasal sinus is an anatomical variation of the sphenoparietal sinus that drains directly into the EVFO. The authors present the case of a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) with a unique drainage pattern through the sphenobasal sinus and EVFO.

OBSERVATIONS

A 9-year-old female initially presented with loss of consciousness and was subsequently found to have a ruptured AVM in the left basal frontal area. She underwent an immediate decompressive hemicraniectomy, with a computed tomography angiogram demonstrating a unique anatomical variation in which the sphenobasal sinus communicated with the EVFO and LTVS. The final venous drainage returned to the pterygoid plexus and external jugular vein. Postoperatively, the patient made a substantial recovery, with generalized right-sided weakness remaining as the sole deficit.

LESSONS

The authors present the case of a ruptured AVM with unique venous drainage into the sphenobasal sinus and EVFO, for which the current literature remains limited. As exemplified by this illustrative case, technique modification may be warranted in the setting of this unique anatomical variation to avoid venous sinus injury.