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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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Jianguo Xu, Chao You, Sizhong Zhang, Siqing Huang, Bowen Cai, Zhenggui Wu, and Hao Li

Object

Craniopharyngioma is one of the most common congenital tumors of the sellar and suprasellar regions and accounts for between 4 and 6% of all intracranial tumors. Its oncogenesis and biological behavior have not been well studied, and neither a cell line nor an animal model have been established. To better understand the tumor and improve its clinical management, the authors investigated the angiogenesis and cellular proliferation in subcutaneous craniopharyngioma xenografts obtained by implanting human tumor cells into athymic nude mice.

Methods

Human craniopharyngioma cells obtained from surgical specimens were subcutaneously implanted into BALB/c-nu/nu nude mice to establish a preliminary animal model of a transplanted tumor. Immunohistochemical staining with streptavidin–peroxidase complex was used to identify the cell phenotype and to evaluate the angiogenesis and proliferation in the xenografts. Expression of cytokeratin, minichromosome maintenance deficient 6 (MCM6) protein, and endothelial cell marker CD34 on the xenograft sections were assayed quantitatively by computer-assisted microscopy.

Twenty-seven surviving subcutaneous xenografts were obtained in 15 nude mice. The total implantation success rate was 28.12% (adamantine epithelioma [AE], 37.50%; squamous papillary tumor [SPT], 18.75%). Formation of capillaries and cell proliferation were observed in all of these xenografts. Microvessel density and degree of MCM6 immunostaining were positively correlated in the surviving grafts (r = 0.410, p < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in these variables between the AE and SPT groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

A preliminary animal model of human craniopharyngioma was established in the nude mouse by heterotopic implantation. Surviving xenografts maintained their vascularization and proliferation activities until harvesting at 12 weeks.