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Burak Sade and Joung H. Lee

Object

In this study, the authors aimed to identify the factors that would predict the operative distance between the trigeminal nerve (fifth cranial nerve) and the acousticofacial nerve complex (seventh–eighth cranial nerves) preoperatively when approaching the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) through the suboccipital retrosigmoid approach.

Methods

In 40 consecutive patients who underwent microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve via a sub-occipital retrosigmoid approach for trigeminal neuralgia, the following three parameters were assessed on preoperative magnetic resonance images: 1) the angle between the tentorium and the line drawn from the hard palate (tentorial angle); 2) the angle between the lines drawn along the petrous bones ventral to the internal auditory canals (petrous angle); and 3) the angle between the tentorium and the line connecting the opisthion to the inion (occipital angle). The distance between the trigeminal nerve and the acousticofacial nerve complex (referred to as “distance”) was measured intraoperatively. Statistical analysis was performed using the Pearson correlation test.

Results

The mean values were 50.9 ± 11.5° for the tentorial angle, 102.5 ± 13.1° for the petrous angle, 83.4 ± 9.7° for the occipital angle, and 3.1 ± 1.5 mm for distance. There was a strong inverse correlation between the tentorial angle and distance (r = −0.228, p = 0.08). The mean distance was 3.5 ± 1.9 mm for a tentorial angle less than 51° and 2.7 ± 1.1 mm for a tentorial angle of at least 51°. No correlation existed between either the petrous or occipital angles and distance.

Conclusions

The distance between the trigeminal nerve and acousticofacial nerve complex decreases in the presence of a steep tentorial angle. This limits the operating field between these cranial nerves when reaching the petroclival or the superior CPA regions through the retrosigmoid approach. Awareness of such anatomical features at the time of pre-operative planning is of paramount importance in selecting the optimum surgical approach and minimizing operative complications.

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Burak Sade and Joung H. Lee

✓Facial nerve schwannomas can occur anywhere from the internal auditory canal to the parotid gland. Schwannomas arising from the greater superficial petrosal nerve are exceedingly rare.

The authors report the case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with a selective low-frequency hearing loss of 3 weeks' duration. Neurological examination demonstrated a House–Brackmann Grade II facial paresis and asymmetrical hearing loss on the left side. Audiometric evaluation showed a significant loss of low-frequency hearing with a speech reception threshold (SRT) of 30 dB and a speech discrimination score (SDS) of 88% on the left side. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 2.4-cm enhancing left middle fossa mass. Near-complete resection was performed via a left temporal craniotomy. The tumor was located in the Glasscock triangle and had invaded the petrous bone overlying the cochlea. A very small piece of the tumor over the cochlea was left in order to preserve hearing. A postoperative audiogram showed significant improvement in the patient's hearing, with an SRT of 20 dB and an SDS of 100%. The histological findings were consistent with schwannoma.

The patient experienced postoperative improvement of hearing function despite cochlear involvement, which has previously been reported as an unfavorable factor for postoperative hearing outcome in facial nerve schwannomas.

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Burak Sade, Gérard Mohr and Jean-Jacques Dufour

Object

Vascular complications of the surgery for vestibular schwannomas (VSs) can have devastating consequences; however, there is scant literature on the systematic analysis of the different types of complications. In this context, the authors of this study analyzed these complications, with particular interest in the role of surgical approach in their occurrence.

Methods

The charts of 391 patients who had undergone 413 procedures for VS during a 24-year period were reviewed retrospectively. A suboccipital retrosigmoid (RS) approach was used in 338 procedures, and the translabyrinthine (TL) route in 75. Postoperative hemorrhage or infarction was identified and stratified according to the complication type and surgical approach.

Postoperative vascular complications were encountered in 11 procedures (2.7%), and their incidence was the same for both the RS and TL approaches. Of these complications, eight were hemorrhagic (two cerebellopontine angle, one intracerebellar, and five epidural hematomas) and three were ischemic in nature. Five patients (45.4%) had a complete recovery, and four patients (36.4%) a partial recovery; two patients (18.2%) died. The overall procedure-related mortality rate was 0.5% (two of 413 procedures): 0.3% (one of 338 procedures) for the RS approach and 1.3% (one of 75 procedures) for the TL approach (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

In this study, the overall incidences of vascular complications in VS surgery were similar for the RS and TL approaches. Regardless of the preferred surgical route, this group of complications carries a significant risk of morbidity and therefore warrants special consideration in the management of VSs.

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Burak Sade, Soichi Oya and Joung H. Lee

Object

There are various schools of thought when it comes to dural reconstruction following meningioma surgery, which are largely based on the personal experience of the individual surgeons. The authors' aim in this study was to review different dural reconstruction techniques, with an emphasis on their experience with the synthetic onlay dural graft technique.

Methods

The medical records of 439 consecutive patients who were surgically treated for an intracranial meningioma over a period of 7 years, and for whom dural reconstruction was performed using the onlay dural graft DuraGen (Integra Neurosciences) were reviewed retrospectively. The most common tumor location was the convexity (27.6%), and 12% of the patients had undergone previous surgery. Complications related to the closure technique and/or closure material, such as CSF leakage from the incision, rhinorrhea, or infectious or chemical meningitis were reviewed.

Results

A CSF leak was encountered in 2 patients (0.4%), and 10 patients (2.3%) experienced graft-related complications in the form of chemical meningitis, cerebritis, and accumulation of extraaxial fluid. Infectious complications were seen in 4 patients (0.9%; bacterial meningitis, osteomyelitis, epidural abscess). None of the patients had pseudomeningocele that required a second intervention.

Conclusions

In the authors' experience, the incidence of CSF leakage following non-watertight reconstruction of the dura mater in meningioma surgery performed using dural onlay graft was 0.4%. Graft-related complications occurred in 2.3%. These figures compare favorably to the majority of the series in which watertight dural closure is described and emphasized.

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Soichi Oya, Burak Sade and Joung H. Lee

Object

The aim of this study was to describe the surgical technique used for removal of sphenoorbital meningiomas in the authors' practice and to review the operative outcome.

Methods

Review of the senior author's practice between 1994 and 2009 revealed 39 patients (mean age 48 years) eligible for this study. Clinical presentation, surgical technique, postoperative outcome, and follow-up data are presented. Surgical technique is detailed, with an emphasis on aggressive removal consisting of drilling of the hypertrophied sphenoid bone, orbital wall, and anterior clinoid process, followed by tumor removal and a wide resection of the involved dura. A simple dural closure without reconstruction of the orbital roof or the lateral wall of the orbit is also described.

Results

Gross-total resection was achieved in 15 cases (38.5%), near-total resection with small residual in the cavernous sinus or periorbita in 20 cases (51.3%), and subtotal resection in 4 cases (10.3%). Postoperative complications included trigeminal hypesthesia in 9 patients, oculomotor palsy in 3 patients, and seizure in 2 patients. Seven patients had recurrence within the mean follow-up period of 40.7 months. Preoperative visual deficits were present in 21 patients (53.8%). Of these, 14 (66.7%) experienced visual recovery to normal levels postoperatively. Statistical analyses revealed preoperative severe visual deficit and sphenoid bone hypertrophy as an independent risk factor and an independent favorable factor, respectively, for a favorable visual outcome. Proptosis was resolved (≤ 2 mm) in 73.5% of the authors' patients. No patient had postoperative enophthalmos.

Conclusions

In the authors' practice, surgery for sphenoorbital meningiomas consists of resection of the orbital/sphenoid intraosseous, intraorbital, and intradural tumor components. The authors believe that aggressive removal of the orbital/sphenoid intraosseous tumor is critical for a favorable visual outcome and tumor control. Furthermore, satisfactory cosmetic results can be achieved with simple reconstruction techniques as described.

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Soichi Oya, Seon-Hwan Kim, Burak Sade and Joung H. Lee

Object

Despite the increased detection of incidental or small meningiomas, the lesion's natural history is largely unknown.

Methods

One year or longer of follow-up was conducted in 244 patients with 273 meningiomas managed conservatively by a single surgeon between 2003 and 2008. Data were stratified according to age, sex, tumor location, symptoms, initial tumor diameter, calcification, MR imaging intensity, and edema. Linear tumor growth was defined as a 2-mm or larger increase in the maximum diameter in any direction of the tumor. Volumetric analysis (ImageJ version 1.43) was also conducted in 154 of 273 meningiomas for which complete radiological data were available in the form of DICOM files throughout the follow-up period. A volume increase greater than 8.2% was regarded as significant because the preliminary volumetry based on 20 randomly selected meningiomas showed that the average SD was 4.1%.

Results

Linear growth was observed in 120 tumors (44.0%) with a mean follow-up of 3.8 years. Factors related to tumor growth were age of 60 or younger (p = 0.0004), absence of calcification (p = 0.027), MR imaging T2 signal hyperintensity (p = 0.021), and edema (p = 0.018). Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed that age 60 or younger (hazard ratio [HR] 1.54, 95% CI 1.05–2.30, p = 0.026), initial tumor diameter greater than 25 mm (HR 2.23, 95% CI 1.44–3.38, p = 0.0004), and the absence of calcification (HR 4.57, 95% CI 2.69–8.20, p < 0.0001) were factors associated with a short time to progression. Volumetric growth was seen in 74.0% of the cases. Factors associated with a higher annual growth rate were male sex (p = 0.0002), initial tumor diameter greater than 25 mm (p < 0.0001), MR imaging T2 signal hyperintensity (p = 0.0001), presence of symptoms (p = 0.037), and edema (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Although the authors could obtain variable results depending on the measurement method, the data demonstrate patients younger than 60 years of age and those with meningiomas characterized by hyperintensity on T2-weighted MR imaging, no calcification, diameter greater than 25 mm, and edema need to be observed more closely. Volumetry was more sensitive to detecting tumor growth than measuring the linear diameter.

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Burak Sade, Gérard Mohr, Donatella Tampieri and Arthur Rizzo

✓ An aneurysm completely included within a pituitary adenoma that lies inside the sella turcica is rare and challenging from both a diagnostic and treatment viewpoint. A 39-year-old woman presented with symptoms and signs of acromegaly. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a pituitary macroadenoma, which was associated with an intrasellar aneurysm. Digital subtraction angiography confirmed the presence of the cavernous carotid artery aneurysm. Complete endovascular obliteration of the aneurysm was achieved using Guglielmi Detachable Coils and the patency of the internal carotid artery was maintained. The pituitary adenoma was resected subtotally via a transsphenoidal microsurgical approach 8 months later. Preoperative detection of a coexisting intrasellar aneurysm in a patient with a pituitary adenoma is mandatory to avoid life-threatening hemorrhagic complications. Endovascular coil placement is an effective treatment option when performed before the transsphenoidal removal of the adenoma.

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Gérard Mohr, Burak Sade, Jean-Jacques Dufour and Jamie M. Rappaport

Object. Preservation of hearing has become a standard goal in selected patients undergoing surgery for a vestibular schwannoma (VS). This study was aimed at analyzing the role played by filling of the internal auditory canal (IAC) as well as those played by preoperative hearing quality, and tumor size in the postoperative preservation of serviceable hearing (SH).

Methods. Three hundred eighty-six patients with VS were treated. Hearing preservation was attempted in 128 cases (33.2%) by using intraoperative monitoring and following a retrosigmoid approach. The maximal extrameatal size of the tumor, its extension within the IAC, and pre- and postoperative hearing quality, according to the Gardner—Robertson classification, were evaluated. Preservation of SH was achieved in 24.2% of the 128 patients. With respect to tumor size, SH was preserved in 39% of 77 patients harboring a tumor 15 mm wide or smaller and in 2% of 51 patients with lesions 16 mm wide or larger (p < 0.001). With regard to filling of the IAC, among 63 patients harboring a tumor 15 mm or smaller, in whom magnetic resonance images were available, SH was preserved in 52.8% of 36 patients with partial filling and in 25.9% of 27 patients with complete filling (p = 0.032). Concerning preoperative hearing quality, in the patients with tumors 15 mm or smaller, SH was preserved in 46.5% of 43 patients with Gardner—Robertson Class I hearing and 29.4% of 34 patients with Class II hearing (p = 0.126). Both tumor size and the extent of IAC filling proved statistically significant in a multivariable analysis (p < 0.001 and p = 0.026, respectively).

Conclusions. Incomplete filling of the IAC and a tumor size of 15 mm or smaller are independent favorable factors in SH preservation. Excellent preoperative hearing appears to have a positive impact but does not have statistical significance. Intraoperative monitoring is useful in guiding the dissection; however, the surgeon's knowledge of topographical landmarks and meticulous surgical technique remain the essential factors of success.

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Burak Sade, Richard A. Prayson and Joung H. Lee

✓ Gliosarcomas are bimorphic intraaxial tumors. Involvement of the skull base is highly unexpected. The authors present the case of a temporal lobe gliosarcoma with significant infratemporal fossa extension. This 55-year-old man presented with a 1-month history of severe progressive headache. Neurological examination was unremarkable except for bilateral papilledema. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 6-cm right temporal mass with extension into the infratemporal fossa. The patient underwent a right frontotemporal craniotomy together with drilling of the sphenoid ridge and middle fossa floor. The tumor consisted of intraaxial, intracranial as well as extradural, and extracranial components with extension to the posterolateral wall of the sphenoid sinus. It had a relatively well-circumscribed dissection plane. Gross-total resection was achieved, and the middle fossa floor was reconstructed using a rotated temporalis muscle flap. The postoperative course was uneventful except for hypesthesia in the distribution of the maxillary division of the right trigeminal nerve. The histopathological diagnosis was consistent with gliosarcoma. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy consisting of temozolomide were administered subsequently, and the patient was recurrence free 12 months after his initial diagnosis.

In the presence of a mass lesion with both intraaxial and extracranial involvement, gliosarcoma should be considered among the differential diagnoses. Aggressive resection should be attempted, including the use of skull base surgical techniques to ensure an optimal outcome. The effect of skull base involvement to the overall treatment and outcome of patients with gliosarcomas would be difficult to determine given the rare occurrence of these lesions in such locations.

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Joung H. Lee, Burak Sade, Eugene Choi, Mladen Golubic and Richard Prayson

Object

This study was undertaken to test a hypothesis that meningiomas of the midline skull base and spine are predominantly of the meningothelial histological subtype.

Methods

The cases of 794 consecutive patients who underwent resection for meningioma at the Cleveland Clinic between January 1991 and March 2004 were reviewed retrospectively. The authors analyzed the relationship between the tumors’ histological subtypes and sites of origin in the 731 patients from this group who harbored tumors that were determined to be benign histologically (World Health Organization Grade I).

Meningothelial meningiomas (MMs) accounted for 63.5% (464/731) of the Grade I tumors. The incidence of MM according to the site of origin was as follows: 84.9% (186/219) in the midline skull base, 58.3% (35/60) in the lateral skull base, 48.5% (183/377) in a non–skull base location, and 80% (60/75) in spinal locations. The incidence of MM in the midline skull base and spinal locations were significantly higher than in non–skull base or lateral skull base locations.

Conclusions

Meningiomas of the midline neuraxis are predominantly meningotheliomas. Analysis of the increasingly available data on genetic and topographic characteristics of MMs suggests that they may represent a unique entity, contrary to the prevailing belief that all benign meningiomas are identical tumors.