Surgery for giant anterior clinoidal meningiomas that invade vital neurovascular structures surrounding the anterior clinoid process is challenging. The authors present their skull base technique for the treatment of giant anterior clinoidal meningiomas, defined here as globular tumors with a maximum diameter of 5 cm or larger, centered around the anterior clinoid process, which is usually hyperostotic.
Between 2000 and 2010, the authors performed 23 surgeries in 22 patients with giant anterior clinoidal meningiomas. They used a skull base approach with extradural unroofing of the optic canal, extradural clinoidectomy (Dolenc technique), transdural debulking of the tumor, early optic nerve decompression, and early identification and control of key neurovascular structures.
The mean age at surgery was 53.8 years. The mean tumor diameter was 59.2 mm (range 50–85 mm) with cavernous sinus involvement in 59.1% (13 of 22 patients). The tumor involved the prechiasmatic segment of the optic nerve in all patients, invaded the optic canal in 77.3% (17 of 22 patients), and caused visual impairment in 86.4% (19 of 22 patients). Total resection (Simpson Grade I or II) was achieved in 30.4% of surgeries (7 of 23); subtotal and partial resections were each achieved in 34.8% of surgeries (8 of 23). The main factor precluding total removal was cavernous sinus involvement. There were no deaths. The mean Glasgow Outcome Scale score was 4.8 (median 5) at a mean of 56 months of follow-up. Vision improved in 66.7% (12 of 18 patients) with consecutive neuroophthalmological examinations, was stable in 22.2% (4 of 18), and deteriorated in 11.1% (2 of 18). New deficits in cranial nerve III or IV remained after 8.7% of surgeries (2 of 23).
This modified surgical protocol has provided both a good extent of resection and a good neurological and visual outcome in patients with giant anterior clinoidal meningiomas.