In this study the authors address the efficacy and safety of frameless stereotaxy in transsphenoidal surgery.
One thousand transsphenoidal operations were performed at the authors' institution between June 2000 and July 2005. This series consists of a retrospective review of 176 patients entered in a prospectively obtained database who underwent frameless stereotactic transsphenoidal surgery in which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, computerized tomography (CT) scanning, or fluoroscopic guidance was used. Of the 176 patients, 104 (59%) had suprasellar extension of their tumor, 70 (40%) had involvement of the visual apparatus, and 65 (37%) had cavernous sinus involvement. All patients underwent detailed pre- and postoperative neurological, endocrinological, radiographic, and ophthalmological follow-up evaluations. Records were reviewed retrospectively for intraoperative and postoperative complications related to the surgical approach.
No instances of visual deterioration, carotid artery (CA) stenosis, or stroke were observed following transsphenoidal surgery. Only one patient sustained damage to the CA intraoperatively, and this was controlled in the operating room. Five patients (3%) required an intensive care unit stay postoperatively. Intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage was encountered in 112 patients (64%) and was more frequently observed in tumors with suprasellar involvement.
Frameless stereotaxy is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of recurrent or invasive sellar masses. All three frameless stereotaxy modalities provided accurate information regarding the anatomical midline and the trajectory to the sella turcica. The MR imaging, CT scanning, and fluoroscopic stereotaxy modalities all have unique advantages as well as specific limitations.