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Maria Koutourousiou, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, S. Tonya Stefko, Eric W. Wang, Carl H. Snyderman and Paul A. Gardner

Object

Following the introduction of the neurosurgical microscope, the outcomes in suprasellar meningioma surgery were dramatically improved. More recently, the neurosurgical endoscope has been introduced as a visualization option during removal of skull base tumors, both transcranially and endonasally. The authors retrospectively reviewed the effectiveness of endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) in the management of suprasellar meningiomas.

Methods

Between 2002 and 2011, 75 patients (81.3% female) with suprasellar meningiomas underwent EES at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The authors present the results of EES and analyze the resection rates, visual outcome, and complications.

Results

Seventy-one patients presented with primary tumors, whereas 4 were previously treated elsewhere. Their mean age was 57.3 years (range 36–88 years), and most patients presented with visual loss (81.3%). Tumors occupied the tuberculum sellae (86.7%) and planum sphenoidale (50.7%), with extension into the optic canals in 26.7% (unilateral in 21.3% and bilateral in 5.3%) and the pituitary fossa (9.3%). Gross-total tumor resection (Simpson Grade I) was achieved in 76% of the cases in the whole cohort and in 81.4% of the patients in whom it was the goal of surgery. Tumor location and extension into the optic canals was not a limitation for total resection. Tumor size, configuration, and vascular encasement were significant factors that influenced the degree of resection (p < 0.0001). Vision was improved or normalized in 85.7% of the cases. Visual deterioration following EES occurred in 2 patients (3.6%). Complications included postoperative CSF leaks (25.3% overall, 16.1% in recent years) resulting in meningitis in 4 cases. One patient had an intraoperative injury of the artery of Heubner resulting in associated neurological deficit. Another elderly patient died within 1 month after EES due to cerebral vasospasm and multisystem impairment. No patient developed postoperative cerebral contusions, hemorrhage, or seizures. During a mean follow-up period of 29 months (range 1–98 months), 4 patients have shown recurrence, but only 1 required repeat EES.

Conclusions

With the goal of gross-total tumor resection and visual improvement, EES can achieve very good results, (comparable to microscopic approaches) for the treatment of suprasellar meningiomas. Avoidance of brain and optic nerve retraction, preservation of the vascularization of the optic apparatus, and wide decompression of the optic canals are the main advantages of EES for the treatment of suprasellar meningiomas, while CSF leaks remain a disadvantage.

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Maria Koutourousiou, Francisco Vaz Guimaraes Filho, Tina Costacou, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Eric W. Wang, Carl H. Snyderman, William E. Rothfus and Paul A. Gardner

Object

Transclival endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) has recently been used for the treatment of posterior fossa tumors. The optimal method of reconstruction of large clival defects following EES has not been established.

Methods

A morphometric analysis of the posterior fossa was performed in patients who underwent transclival EES to compare those with observed postoperative anatomical changes (study group) to 50 normal individuals (anatomical control group) and 41 matched transclival cases with preserved posterior fossa anatomy (case-control group) using the same parameters. Given the absence of clival bone following transclival EES, the authors used the line between the anterior commissure and the basion as an equivalent to the clival plane to evaluate the location of the pons. Four parameters were studied and compared in the two populations: the pontine location/displacement, the maximum anteroposterior (AP) diameter of the pons, the maximum AP diameter of the fourth ventricle, and the cervicomedullary angle (CMA). All measurements were performed on midsagittal 3-month postoperative MR images in the study group.

Results

Among 103 posterior fossa tumors treated with transclival EES, 14 cases (13.6%) with postoperative posterior fossa anatomy changes were identified. The most significant change was anterior displacement of the pons (transclival pontine encephalocele) compared with the normal location in the anatomical control group (p < 0.0001). Other significant deformities were expansion of the AP diameter of the pons (p = 0.005), enlargement of the fourth ventricle (p = 0.001), and decrease in the CMA (p < 0.0001). All patients who developed these changes had undergone extensive resection of the clival bone (> 50% of the clivus) and dura. Nine (64.3%) of the 14 patients were overweight (body mass index [BMI] > 25 kg/m2). An association between BMI and the degree of pontine encephalocele was observed, but did not reach statistical significance. The use of a fat graft as part of the reconstruction technique following transclival EES with dural opening was the single significant factor that prevented pontine displacement (p = 0.02), associated with 91% lower odds of pontine encephalocele (OR = 0.09, 95% CI 0.01–0.77). The effect of fat graft reconstruction was more pronounced in overweight/obese individuals (p = 0.04) than in normal-weight patients (p = 0.52). Besides reconstruction technique, other noticeable findings were the tendency of younger adults to develop pontine encephalocele (p = 0.05) and the association of postoperative meningitis with the development of posterior fossa deformities (p = 0.05). One patient developed a transient, recurrent subjective diplopia; all others remained asymptomatic.

Conclusions

Significant changes in posterior fossa anatomy that have potential clinical implications have been observed following transclival transdural EES. These changes are more common in younger patients or those with meningitis and may be associated with BMI. The use of a fat graft combined with the vascularized nasoseptal flap appears to minimize the risk of pontine herniation following transclival EES with dural opening.

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Maria Koutourousiou, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Eric W. Wang, Carl H. Snyderman, M.B.A. and Paul A. Gardner

Object

Recently, endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) has been introduced in the management of skull base tumors, with constantly improving outcomes and increasing indications. The authors retrospectively reviewed the effectiveness of EES in the management of olfactory groove meningiomas.

Methods

Between February 2003 and December 2012, 50 patients (64% female) with olfactory groove meningiomas underwent EES at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The authors present the results of EES and analyze the resection rates, clinical outcome, complications, and limitations of this approach.

Results

Forty-four patients presented with primary tumors, whereas six were previously treated elsewhere. The patients’ mean age was 57.1 years (range 27–88 years). Clinical presentation included altered mental status (36%), visual loss (30%), headache (24%), and seizures (20%). The mean maximum tumor diameter was 41.6 mm (range 18–80 mm). All patients underwent EES, which was performed in stages in 18 giant tumors. Complete tumor resection (Simpson Grade I) was achieved in 66.7% of the 45 patients in whom it was the goal, and 13 (28.9%) had near-total resection (> 95% of the tumor). Tumor size, calcification, and absence of cortical cuff from vasculature were significant factors that influenced the degree of resection (p = 0.002, p = 0.024, and p = 0.028, respectively). Tumor residual was usually at the most lateral and anterior tumor margins.

Following EES, mental status was improved or normalized in 77.8% of the cases, vision was improved or restored in 86.7 %, and headaches resolved in 83.3 %. There was no postoperative deterioration of presenting symptoms. Complications were increased in tumors > 40 mm and included CSF leakage (30%), which was significantly associated with lobular tumor configuration (p = 0.048); pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis, more commonly in elderly patients (20%); sinus infections (10%); and delayed abscess months or years after EES (6%). One patient had an intraoperative vascular injury resulting in transient hemiparesis (2%). There were no perioperative deaths. During a mean follow-up period of 32 months (median 22 months, range 1–115 months), 1 patient underwent repeat EES for tumor regrowth.

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal surgery has shown good clinical outcomes regardless of patient age, previous treatment, or tumor characteristics. Tumor size > 40 mm, calcification, and absence of cortical vascular cuff limit GTR with EES; in addition, large tumors are associated with increased postoperative complications. Significant lateral and anterior dural involvement may represent indications for using traditional craniotomies for the management of these tumors. Postoperative CSF leakage remains a problem that necessitates innovations in EES reconstruction techniques.

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Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Carl H. Snyderman and Eric W. Wang