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Edward D. McCoul, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

Endoscopic skull base surgery (ESBS) is a minimal-access technique that provides an alternative to traditional approaches. Patient-reported outcomes are becoming increasingly important in measuring the success of surgical interventions. Endoscopic skull base surgery may lead to improvements in quality of life (QOL) since natural orifices are used to reach the pathology; however, sinonasal QOL may be negatively affected. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of ESBS on both site-specific QOL, using the Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire (ASBQ), and sinonasal-related QOL, using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22).

Methods

Consecutive patients from a tertiary referral center who were undergoing ESBS were prospectively enrolled in this study. All patients completed the ASBQ and SNOT-22 preoperatively as well as at regular intervals after ESBS.

Results

Sixty-six patients were included in the study, and 57.6% of them had pituitary adenoma. There was no significant decline or improvement in the ASBQ-measured QOL at 3 and 6 weeks after ESBS, but there were significant improvements at 12 weeks and 6 months postoperatively (p < 0.05). Improvements were noted in all but one ASBQ subdomain at 12 weeks and 6 months postsurgery (p < 0.05). Preoperative QOL was significantly worse in patients who had undergone revision surgery and significantly improved postoperatively in patients who underwent gross-total resection (p < 0.05). Scores on the SNOT-22 worsened at 3 weeks postoperatively and returned to baseline thereafter. The presence of a nasoseptal flap or a graft-donor site did not contribute to a decreased QOL.

Conclusions

Endoscopic skull base surgery is associated with an improvement in postoperative site-specific QOL as compared with the preoperative QOL. Short-term improvements are greater if gross-total resection is achieved. Sinonasal QOL transiently declines and then returns to preoperative baseline levels. Endoscopic skull base surgery is a valuable tool in the neurosurgical management of anterior skull base pathology, leading to improvements in site-specific QOL.

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Jeffrey C. Bedrosian, Victor Garcia-Navarro, Edward D. McCoul, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Cholesterol granulomas (CGs) are benign, expanding cystic lesions surrounded by a thick fibrous capsule and filled with fluid, formed by the degradation of blood elements. The goal of surgery is to open the granuloma widely, creating a well-drained cavity. The endonasal endoscopic approach for this extradural lesion is a minimal access method for surgical removal or fenestration. The role of balloon dilation in creating a wide fenestration has not been previously described.

The authors describe a patient with a recurrent petrous apex CG who underwent an endoscopic, endonasal, transmaxillary transpterygoid approach to the petrous apex. A balloon sinuplasty catheter was used to dilate the surgical fenestration to maintain continued patency.

The authors report on their first experience using balloon dilation combined with endoscopic drainage of the petrous apex. The excellent surgical outcome of this minimally invasive technique holds promise for future endonasal approaches to the middle cranial fossa.

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Edward D. McCoul, Jeffrey C. Bedrosian, Olga Akselrod, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Pituitary adenomas are well suited to resection by a minimal-access endoscopic technique. Validation of this approach requires prospective outcome studies to determine the impact on quality of life (QOL). This study aims to assess the effect of endoscopic pituitary adenoma resection on site-specific and sinonasal-related QOL before and after endoscopic surgery using validated instruments.

METHODS

Consecutive adult patients undergoing endoscopic endonasal resection of pituitary adenoma were prospectively enrolled from a single tertiary care center. All patients completed the Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire (ASBQ) and the 22-Item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) preoperatively and then at regular intervals after surgery to assess their perceived QOL with regard to hormonal, surgical, and anatomical factors.

RESULTS

Eighty-one of 114 patients were eligible for study; median follow-up was 16 months. This cohort included 24 (29.6%) nonsecreting macroadenomas and 57 (70.4%) hypersecreting tumors. There was significant improvement in the mean ASBQ score at 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery (p < 0.05), while postoperative SNOT-22 scores, at the same time points, showed no significant difference from preoperative scores. Both ASBQ and SNOT-22 scores showed transient worsening at 3 weeks postoperatively. Subtotal resection correlated with worse QOL, both overall and among patients with hypersecreting tumors (p < 0.05). Extrasellar tumor extension, intraoperative CSF leakage, and a reconstruction technique during surgery did not impact postoperative QOL. Visual disturbances did not significantly alter QOL. There were no postoperative CSF leaks in this series.

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic resection of pituitary adenoma is associated with long-term improvements in site-specific QOL and stability in sinonasal QOL when assessed pre- and postoperatively with validated instruments. Subtotal resection was the only factor that negatively impacted postoperative QOL. Therefore, gross-total resection should be attempted for all patients to optimize QOL after surgery.

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Graeme F. Woodworth, Kunal S. Patel, Benjamin Shin, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Apostolos John Tsiouris, Edward D. McCoul, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

This study details the extent of resection and complications associated with endonasal endoscopic surgery for pituitary tumors invading the cavernous sinus (CS) using a moderately aggressive approach to maximize extent of resection through the medial CS wall while minimizing the risk of cranial neuropathy and blood loss. Tumor in the medial CS was aggressively pursued while tumor in the lateral CS was debulked in preparation for radiosurgery.

Methods

A prospective surgical database of consecutive endonasal pituitary surgeries with verified CS invasion on intraoperative visual inspection was reviewed. The extent of resection as a whole and within the CS was assessed by an independent neuroradiologist using pre- and postoperative Knosp-Steiner (KS) categorization and volumetrics of the respective MR images. The extent of resection and clinical outcomes were compared for medial (KS 1–2) and lateral (KS 3–4) lesions.

Results

Thirty-six consecutive patients with pituitary adenomas involving the CS who had surgery via an endonasal endoscopic approach were identified. The extent of resection was 84.6% for KS 1–2 and 66.6% for KS 3–4 (p = 0.04). The rate of gross-total resection was 53.8% for KS 1–2 and 8.7% for KS 3–4 (p = 0.0006). Six patients (16.7%) had preoperative cranial neuropathies, and all 6 had subjective improvement after surgery. Surgical complications included 2 transient postoperative cranial neuropathies (5.6%), 1 postoperative CSF leak (2.8%), 1 reoperation for mucocele (2.8%), and 1 infection (2.8%).

Conclusions

The endoscopic endonasal “medial-to-lateral” approach permits safe debulking of tumors in the medial and lateral CS. Although rates of gross-total resection are moderate, particularly in the lateral CS, the risk of permanent cranial neuropathy is extremely low and there is a high chance of improvement of preexisting deficits. This approach can also facilitate targeting for postoperative radiosurgery.

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Kunal S. Patel, Shaan M. Raza, Edward D. McCoul, Aikaterini Patrona, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Mark M. Souweidane, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECT

Craniopharyngiomas are benign parasellar tumors for which surgical removal, although potentially curative, often leads to morbidity with resulting decreases in quality of life (QOL). The endonasal endoscopic approach is a minimal-access technique for removing these tumors and may reduce postoperative morbidity. The QOL following this method for resection of craniopharyngiomas has not been documented.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a database of consecutive endonasal endoscopic surgeries done at Weill Cornell Medical College. Adult patients with histologically proven craniopharyngiomas were included who had completed either only postoperative (> 9 months) or both pre- and postoperative QOL forms, the Anterior Skull Base Quality of Life (ASBQ) questionnaire, and the 22-Item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22). Rates of gross-total resection (GTR), complications, and visual and endocrine function were collected. Retrospective independence (Wen score) was also assigned. A contemporaneous group of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic pituitary macroadenoma resection was used as a control.

RESULTS

This study included 33 procedures performed in 31 patients. The average postoperative ASBQ score was 3.35 and the SNOT-22 score was 19.6. Better QOL was associated with GTR and postoperative radiation. Worse QOL was associated with persistent visual defects, hypopituitarism, tumor recurrence, increase in body mass index, and worsening Wen score. In a subset of 10 patients, both pre- and postoperative (> 9 months) QOL scores were obtained. Both ASBQ and SNOT-22 scores showed stability and a trend toward improvement, from 2.93 ± 0.51 to 2.96 ± 0.47 (ASBQ) and 23.7 ± 10.8 to 18.4 ± 11.6 (SNOT-22). Compared with 62 patients undergoing endoscopic pituitary macroadenoma resection, patients with craniopharyngiomas had worse postoperative QOL on the ASBQ (3.35 vs 3.80; p = 0.023) and SNOT-22 (19.6 vs 13.4; p = 0.12).

CONCLUSIONS

This report of validated site-specific QOL following endoscopic surgery for craniopharyngiomas shows an overall maintenance of postoperative compared with preoperative QOL. Better QOL could be seen in patients with GTR and radiation therapy, and worse QOL was found in patients with visual or endocrine deficits. Nevertheless, patients with craniopharyngiomas still had worse QOL than those undergoing similar surgery for pituitary macroadenomas, confirming the worse prognosis of craniopharyngiomas even when removed via a minimally invasive approach. These measures should serve as benchmarks for comparison with open transcranial approaches to similar tumors.