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Alessandro Della Puppa, Serena De Pellegrin, Elena d'Avella, Giorgio Gioffrè, Marina Munari, Marina Saladini, Elena Salillas, Renato Scienza and Carlo Semenza


The role of parietal areas in number processing is well known. The significance of intraoperative functional mapping of these areas has been only partially explored, however, and only a few discordant data are available in the surgical literature with regard to the right parietal lobe. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical impact of simple calculation in cortical electrostimulation of right-handed patients affected by a right parietal brain tumor.


Calculation mapping in awake surgery was performed in 3 right-handed patients affected by high-grade gliomas located in the right parietal lobe. Preoperatively, none of the patients presented with calculation deficits. In all 3 cases, after sensorimotor and language mapping, cortical and intraparietal sulcus areas involved in single-digit multiplication and addition calculations were mapped using bipolar electrostimulation.


In all patients, different sites of the right parietal cortex, mainly in the inferior lobule, were detected as being specifically related to calculation (multiplication or addition). In 2 patients the intraparietal sulcus was functionally specific for multiplication. No functional sites for language were detected. All sites functional for calculation were spared during tumor resection, which was complete in all cases without postoperative neurological deficits.


These findings provide intraoperative data in support of an anatomofunctional organization for multiplication and addition within the right parietal area. Furthermore, the study shows the potential clinical relevance of intraoperative mapping of calculation in patients undergoing surgery in the right parietal area. Further and larger studies are needed to confirm these data and assess whether mapped areas are effectively essential for function.

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Andrea Ruggeri, Joaquim Enseñat, Alberto Prats-Galino, Antonio Lopez-Rueda, Joan Berenguer, Martina Cappelletti, Matteo De Notaris and Elena d'Avella


Neurosurgical management of many vascular and neoplastic lesions necessitates control of the internal carotid artery (ICA). The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of achieving control of the ICA through the endoscopic endonasal approach by temporary occlusion with a Fogarty balloon catheter.


Ten endoscopic endonasal paraseptal approaches were performed on cadaveric specimens. A Fogarty balloon catheter was inserted through a sellar bony opening and pushed laterally and posteriorly extraarterially along the paraclival carotid artery. The balloon was then inflated, thus achieving temporary occlusion of the vessel. The position of the catheter was confirmed with CT scans, and occlusion of the ICA was demonstrated with angiography. The technique was performed in 2 surgical cases of pituitary macroadenoma with cavernous sinus invasion.


Positioning the Fogarty balloon catheter at the level of the paraclival ICA was achieved in all cadaveric dissections and surgical cases through a minimally invasive, quick, and safe approach. Inflation of the Fogarty balloon caused interruption of blood flow in 100% of cases.


Temporary occlusion of the paraclival ICA performed through the endoscopic endonasal route with the aid of a Fogarty balloon catheter may be another maneuver for dealing with intraoperative ICA control. Further clinical studies are required to prove the efficacy of this method.

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Luigi Maria Cavallo, Diego Mazzatenta, Elena d’Avella, Domenico Catapano, Marco Maria Fontanella, Davide Locatelli, Davide Luglietto, Davide Milani, Domenico Solari, Marco Vindigni, Francesco Zenga, Gianluigi Zona and Paolo Cappabianca


In the last 2 decades, the endoscopic endonasal approach in the treatment of clival chordomas has evolved to be a viable strategy to achieve maximal safe resection of this tumor. Here, the authors present a multicentric national study, intending to analyze the evolution of this approach over a 20-year time frame and its contribution in the treatment of clival chordomas.


Clival chordoma cases surgically treated between 1999 and 2018 at 10 Italian neurosurgical departments were included in this retrospective study. Clinical, radiological, and surgical findings, adjuvant therapy, and outcomes were evaluated and compared according to classification in the treatment eras from 1999 to 2008 and from 2009 to 2018.


One hundred eighty-two surgical procedures were reviewed, with an increase in case load since 2009. The endoscopic endonasal transclival approach (EETA) was performed in 151 of 182 cases (83.0%) and other approaches were performed in 31 cases (17%). There was an increment in the use of EETA, neuronavigation, and Doppler ultrasound after 2008. The overall postoperative complication rate was 14.3% (26 of 182 cases) consisting of 9 CSF leaks (4.9%), 7 intracranial hemorrhages (3.8%), 5 cases of meningitis (2.7%), and 5 cerebral ischemic injuries (2.7%). Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 93 of 182 cases (51.1%). Extent of resection (EOR) improved in the second era of the study. Signs and/or symptoms at presentation worsened in 27 cases (14.8%), and the Katz Index worsened in 10 cases (5.5%). Previous treatment, dural involvement, EETA, and intraoperative Doppler ultrasound correlated with GTR. Patients received adjuvant proton beam radiation in 115 of 182 cases (63.2%), which was administered more in the latter era. Five-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 62.3% and 73.5%, respectively. GTR, EETA, proton beam therapy, and the chondroid subtype correlated with a better survival rate. The mean follow-up was 62 months.


Through multicentric data collection, this study encompasses the largest series in the literature of clival chordomas surgically treated through an EETA. An increase in the use of this approach was found among Italian neurosurgical departments together with an improved extent of resection over time. The satisfactory rate of GTR was marked by low surgical morbidity and the preservation of patient quality of life. Surgical outcome was reinforced, in terms of PFS and OS, by the use of proton beam therapy, which was increasingly performed along the period of study.