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Yong Hwy Kim, Chiman Jeon, Young-Bem Se, Sang Duk Hong, Ho Jun Seol, Jung-II Lee, Chul-Kee Park, Dong Gyu Kim, Hee-Won Jung, Doo Hee Han, Do-Hyun Nam and Doo-Sik Kong

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach for treating primary skull base malignancies involving the clivus is a formidable task. The authors hypothesized that tumor involvement of nearby critical anatomical structures creates hurdles to endoscopic gross-total resection (GTR). The aim of this study was to retrospectively review the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent an endoscopic endonasal approach to treat primary malignancies involving the clivus and to analyze prognostic factors for GTR.

METHODS

Between January 2009 and November 2015, 42 patients underwent the endoscopic endonasal approach for resection of primary skull base malignancies involving the clivus at 2 independent institutions. Clinical data; tumor locations within the clivus; and anatomical involvement of the cavernous or paraclival internal carotid artery, cisternal trigeminal nerve, hypoglossal canal, and dura mater were investigated to assess the extent of resection. Possible prognostic factors affecting GTR were also analyzed.

RESULTS

Of the 42 patients, 37 were diagnosed with chordomas and 5 were diagnosed with chondrosarcomas. The mean (± SD) preoperative tumor volume was 25.2 ± 30.5 cm3 (range 0.8–166.7 cm3). GTR was achieved in 28 patients (66.7%) and subtotal resection in 14 patients (33.3%). All tumors were classified as upper (n = 17), middle (n = 17), or lower (n = 8) clival tumors based on clival involvement, and as central (24 [57.1%]) or paramedian (18 [42.9%]) based on laterality of the tumor. Univariate analysis identified the tumor laterality (OR 6.25, 95% CI 1.51–25.86; p = 0.011) as significantly predictive of GTR. In addition, the laterality of the tumor was found to be a statistically significant predictor in multivariate analysis (OR 41.16, 95% CI 1.12–1512.65; p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

An endoscopic endonasal approach can provide favorable clinical and surgical outcomes. However, the tumor laterality should be considered as a potential obstacle to total removal.

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Yun-Sik Dho, Yong Hwy Kim, Young-Bem Se, Doo Hee Han, Jung Hee Kim, Chul-Kee Park, Kyu-Chang Wang and Dong Gyu Kim

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) is commonly used for the treatment of craniopharyngioma; therefore, it is essential to analyze outcomes in order to understand the benefits and drawbacks. The goal of this paper was to evaluate the clinical features and outcomes associated with this treatment approach.

METHODS

From July 2010 to March 2016, 82 adult craniopharyngioma patients underwent an EEA at the authors’ institution. Of these cases, intraoperative records and immediate postoperative MR images were available for 68 patients. The patients underwent systemized endocrinological evaluation. Eighteen of 68 patients who underwent EEA for recurrence or regrowth of residual lesions after previous surgical management were excluded in the analysis of the anatomical tumor classification. The authors retrospectively analyzed preoperative clinical features and previous anatomical classifications, focusing on the relationship of the pituitary stalk and tumor, to determine predictive factors for the clinical outcome, such as the extent of resection, visual function, endocrinological function, recurrence rate, and complications.

RESULTS

The mean tumor size was 2.5 cm (3.1 cm for primary tumors and 1.9 cm for recurrent lesions). Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 62 (91.1%) patients (48 [96.0%] patients with primary tumors and 14 [77.8%] patients with recurrent tumors). The rate of GTR was higher in the primary group than in the group with recurrence (p = 0.038). The overall pre- and postoperative visual impairment scale (VIS) scores were 40.8 and 22.1, respectively (50.9 and 14.3 in the primary group and 30.7 and 29.9 in patients with recurrence, respectively). The improvement rate in VIS score was higher in the primary group than in the recurrent group (p = 0.001). Endocrinological function was improved in 4 patients (5.9%) and deteriorated in 32 of 68 patients (47.1%). Tumor invasion into the center of the pituitary stalk affected the postoperative outcomes most significantly. Cognitive dysfunction was observed in 22 patients before surgery and improved in 20 patients (90.9%) after surgery. Hydrocephalus was found in 7 patients and resolved after surgery in all cases. CSF leakage occurred in 2 (2.9%) of 68 patients and was repaired by revision surgery in both patients. Ten patients without CSF leakage also received antibiotics for the treatment of meningitis. The infection rate was higher in the recurrent group. Postoperative endocrinological evaluation showed no deficits in 12 patients and panhypopituitarism in 55 patients. The remaining patient had growth hormone deficiency. Forty-three patients had new-onset diabetes insipidus, and 1 patient had persistent diabetes insipidus after surgery. There were 2 (2.9%) cases of recurrence during the mean 30.7-month follow-up period; one patient underwent radiosurgery and the other underwent reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA resulted in excellent surgical outcomes and acceptable morbidity rates, regardless of the anatomical location of the tumor. Invasion of the craniopharyngioma into the center of the pituitary stalk has strong predictive power for postoperative endocrinological outcome.