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André Beer-Furlan, Bradley A. Otto, Ricardo L. Carrau and Daniel M. Prevedello

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Edward E. Kerr, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ali Jamshidi, Leo F. Ditzel Filho, Bradley A. Otto and Ricardo L. Carrau

Endoscopic expanded endonasal approaches (EEAs) to the skull base are increasingly being used to address a variety of skull base pathologies. Postoperative CSF leakage from the large skull base defects has been well described as one of the most common complications of EEAs. There are reports of associated formation of delayed subdural hematoma and tension pneumocephalus from approximately 1 week to 3 months postoperatively. However, there have been no reports of immediate complications of high-volume CSF leakage from EEA skull base surgery. The authors describe two cases of EEAs in which complications related to rapid, large-volume CSF egress through the skull base surgical defect were detected in the immediate postoperative period. Preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of these immediate complications are presented.

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Danielle de Lara, Leo F. S. Ditzel Filho, Jun Muto, Bradley A. Otto, Ricardo L. Carrau, Daniel M. Prevedello and M.D.

Craniopharyngiomas are notorious for their ability to invade the hypothalamus and third ventricle. Although several transcranial approaches have been proposed for their treatment, the endonasal route provides direct access to the tumor with no need for cerebral retraction or manipulation of the optic apparatus. After the lesion is debulked, the unique angle of approach achieved with this technique enables the surgeon to perform an extra-capsular dissection and visualize the walls of the third ventricle, the foramina of Monro, and the anterior comissure. Moreover, the enhanced magnification and lighting afforded by the endoscope facilitate safe tumor removal, particularly in areas where there is loss of clear lesion delimitation and greater infiltration of the surrounding structures.

Herein we present the case of a 68-year-old female patient with a 3-month history of visual deterioration accompanied by worsening headaches. Investigation with magnetic resonance imaging revealed a heterogeneous mass in the suprasellar region, extending into the third ventricle and displacing the pituitary gland and stalk inferiorly. Hormonal profile was within expected range for her age. An endonasal, fully endoscopic, transplanum transtuberculum approach was performed. Gross-total removal was achieved and pathology confirmed the diagnosis of craniopharyngioma. Postoperative recovery was marked by transient diabetes insipidus. Closure was achieved with a pedicled nasoseptal flap; despite exploration of the third ventricle, there was no cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Pituitary function was preserved. Visual function has fully recovered and the patient has been uneventfully followed since surgery.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/it5mpofZl0Q.

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Raywat Noiphithak, Juan C. Yanez-Siller, Juan Manuel Revuelta Barbero, Bradley A. Otto, Ricardo L. Carrau and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECT

This study proposes a variation of the transorbital endoscopic approach (TOEA) that uses the lateral orbit as the primary surgical corridor, in a minimally invasive fashion, for the posterior fossa (PF) access. The versatility of this technique was quantitatively analyzed in comparison with the anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA), which is commonly used for managing lesions in the PF.

METHODS

Anatomical dissections were carried out in 5 latex-injected human cadaveric heads (10 sides). During dissection, the PF was first accessed by TOEAs through the anterior petrosectomy, both with and without lateral orbital rim osteotomies (herein referred as the lateral transorbital approach [LTOA] and the lateral orbital wall approach [LOWA], respectively). ATPAs were performed following the orbital approaches. The stereotactic measurements of the area of exposure, surgical freedom, and angles of attack to 5 anatomical targets were obtained for statistical comparison by the neuronavigator.

RESULTS

The LTOA provided the smallest area of exposure (1.51 ± 0.5 cm2, p = 0.07), while areas of exposure were similar between LOWA and ATPA (1.99 ± 0.7 cm2 and 2.01 ± 1.0 cm2, respectively; p = 0.99). ATPA had the largest surgical freedom, whereas that of LTOA was the most restricted. Similarly, for all targets, the vertical and horizontal angles of attack achieved with ATPA were significantly broader than those achieved with LTOA. However, in LOWA, the removal of the lateral orbital rim allowed a broader range of movement in the horizontal plane, thus granting a similar horizontal angle for 3 of the 5 targets in comparison with ATPA.

CONCLUSIONS

The TOEAs using the lateral orbital corridor for PF access are feasible techniques that may provide a comparable surgical exposure to the ATPA. Furthermore, the removal of the orbital rim showed an additional benefit in an enhancement of the surgical maneuverability in the PF.

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Paulo M. Mesquita Filho, Leo F. S. Ditzel Filho, Daniel M. Prevedello, Cristian A. N. Martinez, Mariano E. Fiore, M.D., Ricardo L. L. Dolci, Bradley A. Otto and Ricardo l. Carrau

Object

Skull base chondrosarcomas are slow-growing, locally invasive tumors that arise from the petroclival synchondrosis. These characteristics allow them to erode the clivus and petrous bone and slowly compress the contents of the posterior fossa progressively until the patient becomes symptomatic, typically from cranial neuropathies. Given the site of their genesis, surrounded by the petrous apex and the clival recess, these tumors can project to the middle fossa, cervical area, and posteriorly, toward the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). Expanded endoscopic endonasal approaches are versatile techniques that grant access to the petroclival synchondrosis, the core of these lesions. The ability to access multiple compartments, remove infiltrated bone, and achieve tumor resection without the need for neural retraction makes these techniques particularly appealing in the management of these complex lesions.

Methods

Analysis of the authors’ database yielded 19 cases of skull base chondrosarcomas; among these were 5 cases with predominant CPA involvement. The electronic medical records of the 5 patients were retrospectively reviewed for age, sex, presentation, pre- and postoperative imaging, surgical technique, pathology, and follow-up. These cases were used to illustrate the surgical nuances involved in the endonasal resection of CPA chondrosarcomas.

Results

The male/female ratio was 1:4, and the patients’ mean age was 55.2 ±11.2 years. All cases involved petrous bone and apex, with variable extensions to the posterior fossa and parapharyngeal space. The main clinical scenario was cranial nerve (CN) palsy, evidenced by diplopia (20%), ptosis (20%), CN VI palsy (20%), dysphagia (40%), impaired phonation (40%), hearing loss (20%), tinnitus (20%), and vertigo/dizziness (40%). Gross-total resection of the CPA component of the tumor was achieved in 4 cases (80%); near-total resection of the CPA component was performed in 1 case (20%). Two patients (40%) harbored high-grade chondrosarcomas. No patient experienced worsening neurological symptoms postoperatively. In 2 cases (40%), the symptoms were completely normalized after surgery.

Conclusions

Expanded endoscopic endonasal approaches appear to be safe and effective in the resection of select skull base chondrosarcomas; those with predominant CPA involvement seem particularly amenable to resection through this technique. Further studies with larger cohorts are necessary to test these preliminary impressions and to compare their effectiveness with the results obtained with open approaches.

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Kenichi Oyama, Ph.D., Daniel M. Prevedello, Leo F. S. Ditzel Filho, Jun Muto, Ph.D., Ramazan Gun, Edward E. Kerr, Bradley A. Otto and Ricardo L. Carrau

Object

The interpeduncular cistern, including the retrochiasmatic area, is one of the most challenging regions to approach surgically. Various conventional approaches to this region have been described; however, only the endoscopic endonasal approach via the dorsum sellae and the transpetrosal approach provide ideal exposure with a caudal-cranial view. The authors compared these 2 approaches to clarify their limitations and intrinsic advantages for access to the interpeduncular cistern

Methods

Four fresh cadaver heads were studied. An endoscopic endonasal approach via the dorsum sellae with pituitary transposition was performed to expose the interpeduncular cistern. A transpetrosal approach was performed bilaterally, combining a retrolabyrinthine presigmoid and a subtemporal transtentorium approach. Water balloons were used to simulate space-occupying lesions. “Water balloon tumors” (WBTs), inflated to 2 different volumes (0.5 and 1.0 ml), were placed in the interpeduncular cistern to compare visualization using the 2 approaches. The distances between cranial nerve (CN) III and the posterior communicating artery (PCoA) and between CN III and the edge of the tentorium were measured through a transpetrosal approach to determine the width of surgical corridors using 0- to 6-ml WBTs in the interpeduncular cistern (n = 8).

Results

Both approaches provided adequate exposure of the interpeduncular cistern. The endoscopic endonasal approach yielded a good visualization of both CN III and the PCoA when a WBT was in the interpeduncular cistern. Visualization of the contralateral anatomical structures was impaired in the transpetrosal approach. The surgical corridor to the interpeduncular cistern via the transpetrosal approach was narrow when the WBT volume was small, but its width increased as the WBT volume increased. There was a statistically significant increase in the maximum distance between CN III and the PCoA (p = 0.047) and between CN III and the tentorium (p = 0.029) when the WBT volume was 6 ml.

Conclusions

Both approaches are valid surgical options for retrochiasmatic lesions such as craniopharyngiomas. The endoscopic endonasal approach via the dorsum sellae provides a direct and wide exposure of the interpeduncular cistern with negligible neurovascular manipulation. The transpetrosal approach also allows direct access to the interpeduncular cistern without pituitary manipulation; however, the surgical corridor is narrow due to the surrounding neurovascular structures and affords poor contralateral visibility. Conversely, in the presence of large or giant tumors in the interpeduncular cistern, which widen the spaces between neurovascular structures, the transpetrosal approach becomes a superior route, whereas the endoscopic endonasal approach may provide limited freedom of movement in the lateral extension.

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Andrew S. Little, Daniel Kelly, John Milligan, Chester Griffiths, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ricardo L. Carrau, Gail Rosseau, Garni Barkhoudarian, Bradley A. Otto, Heidi Jahnke, Charlene Chaloner, Kathryn L. Jelinek, Kristina Chapple and William L. White

OBJECT

Despite the increasing application of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary lesions, the prognostic factors that are associated with sinonasal quality of life (QOL) and nasal morbidity are not well understood. The authors examine the predictors of sinonasal QOL and nasal morbidity in patients undergoing fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery.

METHODS

An exploratory post hoc analysis was conducted of patients who underwent endoscopic pituitary surgery and were enrolled in a prospective multicenter QOL study. End points of the study included patient-reported sinonasal QOL and objective nasal endoscopy findings. Multivariate models were developed to determine the patient and surgical factors that correlated with QOL at 2 weeks through 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS

This study is a retrospective review of a subgroup of patients studied in the clinical trial “Rhinological Outcomes in Endonasal Pituitary Surgery” (clinical trial no. NCT01504399, clinicaltrials.gov). Data from 100 patients who underwent fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery were included. Predictors of a lower postoperative sinonasal QOL at 2 weeks were use of nasal splints (p = 0.039) and female sex at the trend level (p = 0.061); at 3 months, predictors of lower QOL were the presence of sinusitis (p = 0.025), advancing age (p = 0.044), and use of absorbable nasal packing (p = 0.014). Health status (multidimensional QOL) was also predictive at 2 weeks (p = 0.001) and 3 months (p < 0.001) and was the only significant predictor of sinonasal QOL at 6 months (p < 0.001). A Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to study time to resolution of nasal crusting, mucopurulence, and synechia as observed during nasal endoscopy after surgery. The mean time (± SEM) to absence of nasal crusting was 16.3 ± 2.1 weeks, mucopurulence was 6.2 ± 1.1 weeks, and synechia was 4.4 ± 0.5 weeks. Use of absorbable nasal packing was associated with more severe mucopurulence.

CONCLUSIONS

Sinonasal QOL following endoscopic pituitary surgery reaches a nadir at 2 weeks and recovers by 3 months postoperatively. Use of absorbable packing and nasal splints, while used in a minority of patients, negatively correlates with early sinonasal QOL. Sinonasal QOL and overall health status are well correlated in the postoperative period, suggesting the important influence of sinonasal QOL on the patient experience.

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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.

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José M. Pascual, Ruth Prieto, Rodrigo Carrasco, Inés Castro-Dufourny and Laura Barrios