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Giuseppe Cinalli, Alessia Imperato, Giuseppe Mirone, Giuliana Di Martino, Giancarlo Nicosia, Claudio Ruggiero, Ferdinando Aliberti and Pietro Spennato


Neuroendoscopic removal of intraventricular tumors is difficult and time consuming because of the lack of an effective decompression system that can be used through the working channel of the endoscope. The authors report on the utilization of an endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator in the resection of intraventricular tumors.


Twelve pediatric patients (10 male, 2 female), ages 1–15 years old, underwent surgery via a purely endoscopic approach using a Gaab rigid endoscope and endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator. Two patients presented with intraventricular metastases from high-grade tumors (medulloblastoma, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor), 2 with subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (associated with tuberous sclerosis), 2 with low-grade intraparaventricular tumors, 4 with suprasellar tumors (2 craniopharyngiomas and 2 optic pathway gliomas), and 2 with pineal tumors (1 immature teratoma, 1 pineal anlage tumor). Hydrocephalus was present in 5 cases. In all patients, the endoscopic trajectory and ventricular access were guided by electromagnetic neuronavigation. Nine patients underwent surgery via a precoronal bur hole while supine. In 2 cases, surgery was performed through a frontal bur hole at the level of the hairline. One patient underwent surgery via a posterior parietal approach to the trigone while in a lateral position. The endoscopic technique consisted of visualization of the tumor, ventricular washing to dilate the ventricles and to control bleeding, obtaining a tumor specimen with biopsy forceps, and ultrasonic aspiration of the tumor. Bleeding was controlled with irrigation, monopolar coagulation, and a thulium laser.


In 7 cases, the resection was total or near total (more than 90% of lesion removed). In 5 cases, the resection was partial. Histological evaluation of the collected material (withdrawn using biopsy forceps and aspirated with an ultrasonic aspirator) was diagnostic in all cases. The duration of surgery ranged from 30 to 120 minutes. One case was complicated by subdural hygroma requiring a subduro-peritoneal shunt implant.


In this preliminary series, endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration proved to be a safe and reliable method for achieving extensive decompression or complete removal in the management of intra- and/or paraventricular lesions in pediatric patients.

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Giancarlo Nicosia, Pietro Spennato, Ferdinando Aliberti, Daniele Cascone, Lucia Quaglietta, Maria Elena Errico, Mario Muto, Franco Ionna and Giuseppe Cinalli

Melanotic neuroectodermal tumor of infancy is a rare congenital pigmented neoplasm of neural crest origin, locally aggressive, growing rapidly and developing during the 1st year of life. It most commonly arises from the maxilla, cranial vault, and mandible. Occasionally, it exhibits malignant behavior with local lymph nodes involvement. Cases misdiagnosed and left untreated for a long time can present challenges due to the tumor mass and infiltration. In these cases, adjuvant chemotherapy can be extremely helpful before radical excision.

Authors of this report describe a 4-year-old boy from a developing country who was referred to their hospital with an ulcerated bulging lesion in the midline/right parietooccipital region, extending to the right laterocervical and parotid regions, resulting in significant craniofacial deformation. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a highly enhancing tumor with intracranial and extracranial development extending mainly at the level of the right parietooccipital region, with lytic and hypertrophic alterations of the skull. The patient was managed with neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy and radically resective surgery on metastatic lymph nodes and the primary tumor of the skull. Scheduled radiotherapy was not performed, according to the parents' wishes. The patient returned to his native country where the lesion recurred, and he ultimately died approximately 10 months after the end of the treatment.

The literature indicates that tumor removal alone has been the treatment of choice in most isolated cases, but in cases of highly advanced tumor with involvement of the skull and cervical lymph nodes, it is preferable to proceed with preoperative chemotherapy with the aim of reducing the tumor volume, allowing better technical conditions for complete surgical removal, and decreasing the risk of local recurrence or metastasis.