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Limin Xiao, Shenhao Xie, Bin Tang, Jialing Hu, and Tao Hong

Advances in endoscopic technique allow for resection of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) via an endoscopic endonasal approach. The authors discuss the endoscopic endonasal anterior clinoidectomy (EEAC) and demonstrate the relevant surgical anatomy and technical nuances. The approach was simulated in 6 cadaveric heads. From a technical point of view, the lateral optic carotid recess was used as the landmark in the proposed technique. The superomedial, superolateral, and inferior vertices of this recess are the main operative points. The EEAC approach was achieved by disconnecting the ACP tip from the base by drilling the 3 vertices. The proposed approach was successfully performed in all cadaveric specimens. Then, in a case series involving 6 patients in whom the EEAC approach was used, there were no vascular injuries; 2 patients had postoperative oculomotor nerve palsy, which improved in one and resolved in the other by 1 month.

The EEAC approach for tumors and vascular lesions in the parasellar region is technically feasible. The surgical corridor is increased by ACP resection, although to a lesser extent than the transcranial anterior clinoidectomy. Based on the authors’ initial anatomical and surgical results, resection of the ACP via the endonasal endoscopic approach is a novel technique worth exploring in suitable cases.

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Ruth Prieto and Jose María Pascual

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Jie Wu, ChengBing Pan, ShenHao Xie, Bin Tang, Jun Fu, Xiao Wu, ZhiGao Tong, BoWen Wu, YouQing Yang, Han Ding, ShaoYang Li, and Tao Hong

OBJECTIVE

When comparing endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) and transcranial microsurgery (TCM) for adult and mixed-age population craniopharyngiomas, EES has become an alternative to TCM. To date, studies comparing EES and TCM for pediatric craniopharyngiomas are sparse. In this study, the authors aimed to compare postoperative complications and surgical outcomes between EES and TCM for pediatric craniopharyngiomas.

METHODS

The data of pediatric patients with craniopharyngiomas who underwent surgery between February 2009 and June 2021 at a single center were retrospectively reviewed. All included cases were divided into EES and TCM groups according to the treatment modality received. The baseline characteristics of patients were compared between the groups, as well as surgical results, perioperative complications, and long-term outcomes. To control for confounding factors, propensity-adjusted analysis was performed.

RESULTS

Overall, 51 pediatric craniopharyngioma surgeries were identified in 49 patients, among which 35 were treated with EES and 16 were treated with TCM. The proportion of gross-total resection (GTR) was similar between the groups (94.3% for EES vs 75% for TCM, p = 0.130). TCM was associated with a lower rate of hypogonadism (33.3% vs 64.7%, p = 0.042) and a higher rate of growth hormone deficiency (73.3% vs 26.5%, p = 0.002), permanent diabetes insipidus (DI) (60.0% vs 29.4%, p = 0.043), and panhypopituitarism (80.0% vs 47.1%, p = 0.032) at the last follow-up. CSF leakage only occurred in the EES group, with no significant difference observed between the groups (p > 0.99). TCM significantly increased the risk of worsened visual outcomes (25.0% vs 0.0%, p = 0.012). However, TCM was associated with a significantly longer median duration of follow-up (66.0 vs 40.5 months, p = 0.007) and a significantly lower rate of preoperative hypogonadism (18.8% vs 60.0%, p = 0.006). The propensity-adjusted analysis revealed no difference in the rate of recurrence, hypogonadism, or permanent DI. Additionally, EES was associated with a lower median gain in BMI (1.5 kg/m2 vs 7.5 kg/m2, p = 0.046) and better hypothalamic function (58.3% vs 8.3%, p = 0.027) at the last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with TCM, EES was associated with a superior visual outcome, better endocrinological and hypothalamic function, and less BMI gain, but comparable rates of GTR, recurrence, and perioperative complications. These findings have indicated that EES is a safe and effective surgical modality and can be a viable alternative to TCM for pediatric midline craniopharyngiomas.

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Bin Tang, ShenHao Xie, GuanLin Huang, ZhiGang Wang, Le Yang, XuanYong Yang, Shan Xu, ErMing Zeng, and Tao Hong

OBJECTIVE

Transinfundibular craniopharyngioma (TC) is one of the 4 subtypes of suprasellar craniopharyngioma. In this study, the authors analyzed the clinical features of and operative technique for TC.

METHODS

A total of 95 consecutive cases of suprasellar craniopharyngioma that had been resected via the endoscopic expanded endonasal approach were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups: 34 in the TC group and 61 in the nontransinfundibular craniopharyngioma (NC) group. Clinical and radiographic features, intraoperative findings, histopathological and genetic findings, and surgical outcomes were analyzed and compared between groups.

RESULTS

Compared with NC, TC was mostly seen in adult patients (97.1%); it was rare in children (2.9%). Clinical presentations tended toward headache, hydrocephalus, and diabetes insipidus. The relatively smaller volume, midline location (consistent with the stalk position), unidentifiable stalk, no shift of the third ventricle, and greater likelihood to involve the third ventricle and cause hydrocephalus were the characteristic features of TC in the preoperative MRI study. According to the degree of vertical extension of the tumor, the 34 TCs could be classified into 3 subtypes: type 1, entity was limited to stalk (n = 2, 5.9%); type 2, tumor extended up to the third ventricle (type 2a) or down to the subdiaphragmatic cavity (type 2b) (n = 23, 67.6%); and type 3, tumor extended in both directions (n = 9, 26.5%). For TC resection, the chiasm–pituitary corridor, lamina terminalis corridor, and pituitary corridor could be used separately or jointly. Most of the TCs originated from the infundibulum–tuber cinereum, grew within and along the long axis of the infundibulum, and the pituitary stalk was not usually preserved in TCs (20.6%), whereas the rate of preservation was higher (80.3%) in NCs. Bilateral hypothalamic injury was found in nearly all TCs if radical resection was performed, whereas the relationship between NCs and hypothalamus was either compression (32.8%) or unilateral invasion (67.2%). Meanwhile, the postoperative endocrine and neuropsychological function outcomes in patients with TC were worse than in patients with NC. The genetic analysis with whole-exome sequencing studies showed no differential mutations of CTNNB1 (β-catenin) and BRAF (V600E) between TC and NC subtypes, but there was a difference between adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma and papillary craniopharyngioma.

CONCLUSIONS

TC is a special subtype of suprasellar craniopharyngioma, which is remarkably different from NC. Identification of this type of tumor preoperatively is essential for the planning of appropriate surgical approach and degree of excision.

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Fu-Lin He, Shuai Qiu, Jian-Long Zou, Fan-Bin Gu, Zhi Yao, Zhe-Hui Tu, Yuan-Yuan Wang, Xiao-Lin Liu, Li-Hua Zhou, and Qing-Tang Zhu

OBJECTIVE

Neuropathic pain caused by traumatic neuromas is an extremely intractable clinical problem. Disorderly scar tissue accumulation and irregular and immature axon regeneration around the injury site mainly contribute to traumatic painful neuroma formation. Therefore, successfully preventing traumatic painful neuroma formation requires the effective inhibition of irregular axon regeneration and disorderly accumulation of scar tissue. Considering that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) can act on the growth cone and effectively inhibit axon regeneration, the authors designed and manufactured a CSPG-gelatin blocker to regulate the CSPGs’ spatial distribution artificially and applied it in a rat model after sciatic nerve neurectomy to evaluate its effects in preventing traumatic painful neuroma formation.

METHODS

Sixty female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups (positive group: no covering; blank group: covering with gelatin blocker; and CSPG group: covering with the CSPG-gelatin blocker). Pain-related factors were evaluated 2 and 8 weeks postoperatively (n = 30). Neuroma growth, autotomy behavior, and histological features of the neuromas were assessed 8 weeks postoperatively (n = 30).

RESULTS

Eight weeks postoperatively, typical bulb-shaped neuromas did not form in the CSPG group, and autotomy behavior was obviously better in the CSPG group (p < 0.01) than in the other two groups. Also, in the CSPG group the regenerated axons showed a lower density and more regular and improved myelination (p < 0.01). Additionally, the distribution and density of collagenous fibers and the expression of α–smooth muscle actin were significantly lower in the CSPG group than in the positive group (p < 0.01). Regarding pain-related factors, c-fos, substance P, interleukin (IL)–17, and IL-1β levels were significantly lower in the CSPG group than those in the positive and blank groups 2 weeks postoperatively (p < 0.05), while substance P and IL-17 remained lower in the CSPG group 8 weeks postoperatively (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that CSPGs loaded in a gelatin blocker can prevent traumatic neuroma formation and effectively relieve pain symptoms after sciatic nerve neurotomy by blocking irregular axon regeneration and disorderly collagenous fiber accumulation in the proximal nerve stump. These results indicate that covering the proximal nerve stump with CSPGs may be a new and promising strategy to prevent traumatic painful neuroma formation in the clinical setting.

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Xu-Yun Hua, Bin Liu, Yan-Qun Qiu, Wei-Jun Tang, Wen-Dong Xu, Han-Qiu Liu, Jian-Guang Xu, and Yu-Dong Gu

Object

Contralateral C-7 nerve transfer was developed for the treatment of patients with brachial plexus avulsion injury (BPAI). In the surgical procedure the affected recipient nerve is connected to the ipsilateral motor cortex, and the dramatic peripheral alteration may trigger extensive cortical reorganization. However, little is known about the long-term results after such specific nerve transfers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term cortical adaptive plasticity after BPAI and contralateral C-7 nerve transfer.

Methods

In this study, 9 healthy male volunteers and 5 male patients who suffered from right-sided BPAI and had undergone contralateral C-7-transfer more than 5 years earlier were included. Functional MRI studies were used for the investigation of long-term cerebral plasticity.

Results

The neuroimaging results suggested that the ongoing cortical remodeling process after contralateral C-7 nerve transfer could last for a long period; at least for 5 years. The motor control of the reinnervated limb may finally transfer from the ipsilateral to the contralateral hemisphere exclusively, instead of the bilateral neural network activation.

Conclusions

The authors believe that the cortical remodeling may last for a long period after peripheral rearrangement and that the successful cortical transfer is the foundation of the independent motor recovery.