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Shigeo Ohba, Masahito Kobayashi, Takashi Horiguchi, Satoshi Onozuka, Kazunari Yoshida, Takayuki Ohira and Takeshi Kawase

Object

Although gross-total resection (GTR) is a preferable treatment for skull base meningiomas, subtotal resection (STR) with or without radiation therapy can be considered as an alternative treatment for patients at considerable surgical risk. The long-term prognosis of such patients might be related to the biological activity of the tumor. This study examined predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) and sought to determine the optimal treatment strategies, focusing on the pathobiological findings of skull base meningiomas.

Methods

This study included 281 patients with skull base meningiomas (mean follow-up period 88.4 months). Risk factors for tumor progression were examined using a multivariate analysis. The PFS and overall survival (OS) rates were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The functional outcomes of the patients were measured using the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS).

Results

The 10-year PFS and OS rates were 66.4% and 97.4%, respectively. Overall, 83.3% of patients achieved a favorable outcome, that is, an improved or unchanged KPS score. The extent of resection, additional radiotherapy, histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate were significantly associated with PFS. The PFS of patients undergoing STR without radiation therapy was significantly shorter than that of either those undergoing STR with radiation therapy or GTR, while no statistical difference was observed between the latter 2 groups. Among the patients undergoing STR with pathobiological risk factors (histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate), the PFS of the patients who received radiation therapy was better than that of those who did not receive radiation therapy. Among the patients undergoing STR without such risk factors, the PFS was not significantly different between patients who received radiation therapy and those who did not.

Conclusions

For patients with skull base meningiomas, a GTR is desirable and additional radiation therapy after STR may contribute to a longer PFS. Additional radiation therapy should be recommended, especially for patients with pathobiological risk factors, but not necessarily for those without such risks.

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Jun Muto, Daniel M. Prevedello, Leo F. S. Ditzel Filho, Ing Ping Tang, Kenichi Oyama, Edward E. Kerr, Bradley A. Otto, Takeshi Kawase, Kazunari Yoshida and Ricardo L. Carrau

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) offers direct access to midline skull base lesions, and the anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) stands out as a method for granting entry into the upper and middle clival areas. This study evaluated the feasibility of performing EEA for tumors located in the petroclival region in comparison with ATPA.

METHODS

On 8 embalmed cadaver heads, EEA to the petroclival region was performed utilizing a 4-mm endoscope with either 0° or 30° lenses, and an ATPA was performed under microscopic visualization. A comparison was executed based on measurements of 5 heads (10 sides). Case illustrations were utilized to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of EEA and ATPA when dealing with petroclival conditions.

RESULTS

Extradurally, EEA allows direct access to the medial petrous apex, which is limited by the petrous and paraclival internal carotid artery (ICA) segments laterally. The ATPA offers direct access to the petrous apex, which is blocked by the petrous ICA and abducens nerve inferiorly. Intradurally, the EEA allows a direct view of the areas medial to the cisternal segment of cranial nerve VI with limited lateral exposure. ATPA offers excellent access to the cistern between cranial nerves III and VIII. The quantitative analysis demonstrated that the EEA corridor could be expanded laterally with an angled drill up to 1.8 times wider than the bone window between both paraclival ICA segments.

CONCLUSIONS

The midline, horizontal line of the petrous ICA segment, paraclival ICA segment, and the abducens nerve are the main landmarks used to decide which approach to the petroclival region to select. The EEA is superior to the ATPA for accessing lesions medial or caudal to the abducens nerve, such as chordomas, chondrosarcomas, and midclival meningiomas. The ATPA is superior to lesions located posterior and/or lateral to the paraclival ICA segment and lesions with extension to the middle fossa and/or infratemporal fossa. The EEA and ATPA are complementary and can be used independently or in combination with each other in order to approach complex petroclival lesions.