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  • Author or Editor: Daniel M. Prevedello x
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Ricky Madhok, Daniel M. Prevedello, Paul Gardner, Ricardo L. Carrau, Carl H. Snyderman and Amin B. Kassam

Object

Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions that can be diagnosed as an incidental finding associated with headaches, pituitary dysfunction, or vision deterioration. Typically, they occur in a sellar or suprasellar location. The aim of this study was to review the clinical presentation and outcomes associated with endoscopic endonasal resection of these lesions.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed a series of 35 patients with a diagnosis of RCC after endoscopic endonasal resection at the University of Pittsburgh between January 1998 and July 2008.

Results

All 35 patients underwent a purely endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA). The average patient age was 34 years (range 12–67 years), and the average follow-up was 19 months (range 1–60 months). Clinical follow-up data were available for 32 patients, and radiographic follow-up data were accessible for 33 patients. All of the patients underwent complete removal of the cyst contents, and according to radiography studies 2 patients had a recurrence, neither of which required reoperation. The mean cyst volume was 1052.7 mm3 (range 114–6044 mm3). Headache was a presenting symptom in 26 (81.2%) of 32 patients, with 25 (96.1%) of 26 having postoperative improvement in their headaches. Fifteen (57.7%) of the 26 patients had complete pain resolution, and 10 (38.5%) had a > 50% reduction in their pain scores. Six (18.8%) of 32 patients initially presented with pituitary dysfunction, although 2 (33.3%) had postoperative improvement. Three (9.4%) of 32 patients had temporary pituitary dysfunction postoperatively, although there was no permanent pituitary dysfunction. Neither were there any intraoperative complications, postoperative CSF leaks, or new neurological deficits. The average hospital stay was 1.8 days (range 1–5 days).

Conclusions

The EEA is a safe and effective approach in the treatment of RCCs. None of the patients in this study experienced any worsening of their preoperative symptoms or pituitary function, and 96% of the patients who had presented with headache experienced complete or significant pain relief following treatment.

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Daniel M. Prevedello, Amin B. Kassam, Ricardo L. Carrau, Carl H. Snyderman, Ajith Thomas, Paul Gardner, Arlan Mintz, Lisa Vecchione and Joseph Losee

✓Teratomas are neoplasms composed of tissues from all three germ layers with varying degrees of differentiation. They are most commonly found in the sacrococcygeal and gonadal regions and rarely occur in the head and neck region. A teratoma is termed “epignathus” when it arises from the skull base or hard palate and is located in the oral cavity. The authors describe a case of a giant epignathus teratoma originating in the skull base of a neonate, extending bilaterally via two pedicles throughout the hard palate and protruding through the oral cavity. The tumor was completely resected using a transpalatal endoscopic endonasal approach. The excised tumor proved to be an immature teratoma with well-differentiated yolk sac elements. At the 1-year follow-up the patient showed no evidence of tumor recurrence and the child remains neurologically intact.

This report demonstrates the use of a transpalatal endonasal corridor in a preterm infant. This approach provided an ample corridor into the ventral skull base without the need for external excisions and/or disruption of osseous elements.

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Amin B. Kassam, Allan D. Vescan, Ricardo L. Carrau, Daniel M. Prevedello, Paul Gardner, Arlan H. Mintz, Carl H. Snyderman and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

✓ The purpose of this study was to describe the technique used to safely identify the petrous carotid artery during expanded endonasal approaches to the skull base. A series of 20 cadaveric studies was undertaken to isolate the vidian artery and nerve and to use them as landmarks to the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA). Twenty-five consecutive paraclival endoscopic cases were also reviewed to determine the consistency of the vidian artery in vivo as an intraoperative landmark to the ICA. These data were then correlated with results from a separate study in which computed tomography scans from 44 patients were evaluated to delineate the course of the vidian canal and its relationship to the petrous ICA. In all 20 cadaveric dissections and all 25 surgical cases, the vidian artery was consistently identified and could be reliably used as a landmark to the ICA. The correlation between anatomical and clinical data in this paper supports the consistent use of the vidian artery as an important landmark to the petrous ICA.

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Amin B. Kassam, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ricardo L. Carrau, Carl H. Snyderman, Ajith Thomas, Paul Gardner, Adam Zanation, Bulent Duz, S. Tonya Stefko, Karin Byers and Michael B. Horowitz

Object

The development of endoscopic endonasal approaches, albeit in the early stages, represents part of the continuous evolution of skull base surgery. During this early period, it is important to determine the safety of these approaches by analyzing surgical complications to identify and eliminate their causes.

Methods

The authors reviewed all perioperative complications associated with endoscopic endonasal skull base surgeries performed between July 1998 and June 2007 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Results

This study includes the data for the authors' first 800 patients, comprising 399 male (49.9%) and 401 female (50.1%) patients with a mean age of 49.21 years (range 3–96 years). Pituitary adenomas (39.1%) and meningiomas (11.8%) were the 2 most common pathologies. A postoperative CSF leak represented the most common complication, occurring in 15.9% of the patients. All patients with a postoperative CSF leak were successfully treated with a lumbar drain and/or another endoscopic approach, except for 1 patient who required a transcranial repair. The incidence of postoperative CSF leaks decreased significantly with the adoption of vascularized tissue for reconstruction of the skull base (< 6%). Transient neurological deficits occurred in 20 patients (2.5%) and permanent neurological deficits in 14 patients (1.8%). Intracranial infection and systemic complications were encountered and successfully treated in 13 (1.6%) and 17 (2.1%) patients, respectively. Seven patients died during the 30-day perioperative period, 6 of systemic illness and 1 of infection (overall mortality 0.9%).

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery provides a viable median corridor based on anatomical landmarks and is customized according to the specific pathological process. This corridor should be considered as the sole access or may be combined with traditional approaches. With the incremental acquisition of skills and experience, endoscopic endonasal approaches have an acceptable safety profile in select patients presenting with various skull base pathologies.