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Jörg Baldauf, Dirk Junghans and Henry W. S. Schroeder

✓ An unusual case of an intraneural ganglion cyst of the hypoglossal nerve is presented. Only one case of this rare clinical entity has been reported previously. A 51-year-old woman presented with a 6-month history of left-sided hypoglossal nerve palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion related to the hypoglossal canal. There was no enhancement of the lesion after administration of Gd. A high-resolution computerized tomography scan of the skull base demonstrated an enlargement of the hypoglossal canal.

To access the lesion, a far-lateral endoscope-assisted microsurgical approach was used. An intraneural ganglion lesion invading the hypoglossal nerve was found and resected. A histopathological examination confirmed that the lesion was an intraneural ganglion cyst. The occurrence of an intraneural ganglion cyst at the hypoglossal nerve is very rare. This case exemplifies an atypical location of a synovial cyst with cranial nerve involvement.

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Michael R. Gaab and Henry W. S. Schroeder

Object. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of endoscopic treatment in patients with intraventricular tumors.

Methods. A series of 30 patients with endoscopically treated intraventricular lesions is reported. The lesions included seven colloid cysts, six astrocytomas, three subependymomas, two ependymomas, and one each of the following: pineoblastoma, pineocytoma/pineoblastoma (intermediate type), epidermoid cyst, pineal cyst, medulloblastoma, arteriovenous hemangioma, cavernoma, choroid plexus papilloma, pituitary adenoma, craniopharyngioma, melanoma, and germinoma. Total tumor resections, partial resections, biopsies, stent implantations, septostomies, and third ventriculostomies were performed. In two cases (two subependymomas > 2 cm in diameter), piecemeal endoscopic resection was ineffective because of the very firm consistency of the tumors. Therefore the endoscopic procedure was discontinued and the tumors were removed microsurgically. In the remaining cases the procedures were completed as planned. Even in the presence of difficulties such as poor orientation or significant bleeding, there was no need to abandon the endoscopic procedure. A total of 28 strictly endoscopic interventions were performed, in which the average duration was 85 minutes (range 35–170 minutes). All colloid cysts and the epidermoid lesion were completely evacuated and the capsules were widely resected. Total extirpation of solid tumors was achieved in five cases, whereas most astrocytomas were partially resected. The hydrocephalus-related symptoms resolved in all of the 22 patients with cerebrospinal fluid pathway obstruction. There were no endoscopy-related deaths. In two cases, major bleeding occurred and was controlled endoscopically. The authors observed one case of meningitis, one of mutism, two of memory loss attributed to forniceal injury, one of transient trochlear palsy after a biopsy specimen of an aqueductal tumor was obtained, and one of transient confusion after a biopsy specimen of a germinoma was obtained.

Conclusions. In the authors' preliminary experience, the endoscopic approach was found to be safe and effective. In this series, it was possible to achieve relief of noncommunicating hydrocephalus, tumor resections, and even complete tumor removals by using endoscopic techniques. Based on the results, the authors believe that endoscopic techniques should be considered in the treatment of selected intraventricular lesions.

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Michael R. Gaab and Henry W. S. Schroeder

Object

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of endoscopic treatment in patients with intraventricular tumors.

Methods

A series of 30 patients with endoscopically treated intraventricular lesions is reported. The lesions included seven colloid cysts, six astrocytomas, three subependymomas, two ependymomas, and one each of the following: pineoblastoma, pineocytoma/pineoblastoma (intermediate type), epidermoid cyst, pineal cyst, medulloblastoma, arteriovenous hemangioma, cavernoma, choroid plexus papilloma, pituitary adenoma, craniopharyngioma, melanoma, and germinoma. Total tumor resections, partial resections, biopsies, stent implantations, septostomies, and third ventriculostomies were performed. In two cases (two subependymomas > 2 cm in diameter), piecemeal endoscopic resection was ineffective because of the very firm consistency of the tumors. Therefore the endoscopic procedure was discontinued and the tumors were removed microsurgically. In the remaining cases the procedures were completed as planned. Even in the presence of difficulties such as poor orientation or significant bleeding, there was no need to abandon the endoscopic procedure. A total of 28 strictly endoscopic interventions were performed, in which the average duration was 85 minutes (range 35–170 minutes). All colloid cysts and the epidermoid lesion were completely evacuated and the capsules were widely resected. Total extirpation of solid tumors was achieved in five cases, whereas most astrocytomas were partially resected. The hydrocephalus-related symptoms resolved in all of the 22 patients with cerebrospinal fluid pathway obstruction. There were no endoscopy-related deaths. In two cases, major bleeding occurred and was controlled endoscopically. The authors observed one case of meningitis, one of mutism, two of memory loss attributed to forniceal injury, one of transient trochlear palsy after a biopsy specimen of an aqueductal tumor was obtained, and one of transient confusion after a biopsy specimen of a germinoma was obtained.

Conclusions

In the authors' preliminary experience, the endoscopic approach was found to be safe and effective. In this series, it was possible to achieve relief of noncommunicating hydrocephalus, tumor resections, and even complete tumor removals by using endoscopic techniques. Based on the results, the authors believe that endoscopic techniques should be considered in the treatment of selected intraventricular lesions.

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Henry W. S. Schroeder and Michael R. Gaab

The authors' intention is to reduce the invasiveness of intracranial procedures while avoiding traumatization of brain tissue, to decrease the risk of neurological and mental deficits. Intracranial endoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that provides rapid access to the target via small burr holes without the need for brain retraction. Craniotomy as well as microsurgical brain splitting and dissection can often be avoided. Furthermore, because obstructed cerebrospinal fluid pathways can be physiologically restored, the need for shunt placement is eliminated. The ventricular system and subarachnoid spaces provide ideal conditions for the use of an endoscope. Therefore, a variety of disorders, such as hydrocephalus, small intraventricular lesions, and arachnoid and parenchymal cysts can be effectively treated using endoscopic techniques. With the aid of special instruments, laser fibers, and bipolar diathermy, even highly vascularized lesions such as cavernomas may be treated. Moreover, during standard microsurgical procedures, the endoscopic view may provide valuable additional information ("looking around a corner") about the individual anatomy that is not visible with the microscope. In transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, transseptal dissection can be avoided if an endonasal approach is taken. In the depth of the intrasellar space, the extent of tumor removal can be more accurately controlled, especially in larger tumors with para- and suprasellar growth.

The combined use of endoscopes and computerized neuronavigation systems increases the accuracy of the approach and provides real-time control of the endoscope tip position and approach trajectory. In the future, the indications for neuroendoscopy will certainly expand with improved technical equipment.

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Sascha Marx, Stefan Clemens and Henry W. S. Schroeder

OBJECTIVE

In tuberculum sellae meningioma (TSM) surgery, endonasal approaches are claimed to have a superior visual outcome compared with transcranial approaches. The authors question whether this is always true and analyze their series of cases of endoscope-assisted transcranial TSM surgery with special regard to the postoperative visual outcome in order to explore this issue.

METHODS

All surgical procedures for TSM performed between 2003 and 2015 in the Department of Neurosurgery, University Medicine Greifswald, were retrospectively analyzed. Special attention was paid to the postoperative visual outcome.

RESULTS

During the study period, 15 patients (12 female and 3 male) underwent surgery for TSM. Gross-total resection was achieved in 14 cases (93.3%) and near-total resection in 1. One patient suffered from a major stroke during surgery and had to be excluded from further analyses. No other complications occurred. Preoperatively, visual acuity was disturbed in 12 patients (80%) and visual field deficits were present in 11 patients (73.3%). In 3 patients (20%), the TSM was an incidental finding. Postoperatively, ophthalmological examination revealed an improvement of visual acuity in 10 (90.9%) of 11 patients and improvement of visual field deficits in 9 (90%) of 10 patients; no deterioration of visual acuity or visual field was seen in any patient. Visual acuity and visual field improvement was observed in all patients who had surgery within 3 years after the onset of visual disturbances. No tumor recurrence was observed during follow-up (mean 32 months, range 3–134 months). TSMs were approached via a frontolateral craniotomy in 7 patients and via a supraorbital craniotomy in 8. The use of the endoscope as an assistive device led to improved tumor visualization and consequent removal in areas that were hidden in the microscopic view in 6 patients (40%).

CONCLUSIONS

The present series confirms a favorable visual outcome after TSM surgery via supraorbital or frontolateral endoscope-assisted approaches. With endoscopic visualization, major manipulation of the optic apparatus could be avoided, perhaps affecting the favorable visual outcome.

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Christiane Schroeder, Steffen Fleck, Michael R. Gaab, Klaus H. Schweim and Henry W. S. Schroeder

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare CSF flow after endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and endoscopic aqueductoplasty (EAP) in patients presenting with obstructive hydrocephalus caused by aqueductal stenosis.

Methods

In patients harboring aqueductal stenosis who underwent EAP (n = 8), ETV (n = 8), and both ETV and EAP (n = 6), CSF flow through the restored aqueduct and through the ventriculostomy was investigated using cine cardiac-gated phase-contrast MRI. For qualitative evaluation of CSF flow, an in-plane phase-contrast sequence in the midsagittal plane was used. The MR images were displayed in a closed-loop cine format. Quantitative through-plane measurements were performed in the axial plane perpendicular to the aqueduct and/or floor of the third ventricle.

Results

Evaluation revealed significantly higher CSF flow through the ventriculostomies compared with flow through the aqueducts. This was true both when comparing the ETV group with the EAP group and when comparing the flow of the ventriculostomy and aqueduct within the ETV and EAP group. There was no difference in aqueductal CSF flow between patients who underwent EAP alone and patients who underwent ETV and EAP. There was also no difference in ventriculostomy CSF flow between patients who underwent ETV alone and patients who underwent ETV and EAP. Fifty percent of the restored aqueducts became occluded at a mean of 46 months after surgery (range 18–126 months). In contrast, all ETVs remained patent in the mean follow-up period of 110 months after surgery, although 1 patient required shunt placement after 66 months.

Conclusions

Cerebrospinal fluid flow through ventriculostomies is significantly higher than aqueductal CSF flow after EAP. This could be one factor to explain why the reclosure rate of aqueducts after EAP is higher than the reclosure rate of the ventriculostoma after ETV.

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Henry W. S. Schroeder, Wulf-Rüdiger Niendorf and Michael R. Gaab

Object. The purpose of this prospective investigation was to determine the rate of complications associated with endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).

Methods. Between March 1993 and October 2001, 193 ETVs were performed in 188 patients at a single institution. The age of the patients ranged from 1 month to 85 years (mean age 39 years). One procedure had to be abandoned because a severe venous hemorrhage blurred the surgeon's view; however, third ventriculostomy was successfully accomplished in that patient 14 days later. In addition, there were two cases in which significant venous hemorrhages could be controlled endoscopically by using irrigation. Postoperative imaging revealed three subdural collections, one tiny thalamic contusion, one cortical hemorrhage at the puncture site, and one severe subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). There were two deaths (1% mortality rate) related to the endoscopic procedure; causes of death were one SAH from a torn basilar perforating artery and one wound infection leading to meningitis and septic multiorgan failure. Three permanent deficits occurred (confusion, oculomotor palsy, and diabetes insipidus [1.6% permanent morbidity rate]). Transient deficits included four cases of meningitis, three cases of cerebrospinal fluid leak, two cases of herniation syndrome, two cases of confusion, one case in which there was a decrease of consciousness, two cases of oculomotor palsy, and one case in which there was loss of thirst (7.8% transient morbidity rate). Misplacement of the fenestration was the main reason for severe complications. During the course of the study, the complication rate dropped significantly (no incidences of mortality or permanent morbidity occurred during the last 100 procedures).

Conclusions. All permanent and fatal complications occurred during the authors' very early experience, indicating that a steep learning curve was associated with the procedure. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy, if performed correctly, is a safe, simple, and effective treatment option for various forms of noncommunicating hydrocephalus.

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Henry W. S. Schroeder, Michael R. Gaab and Wulf-Rüdiger Niendorf

✓ A prospective study of seven consecutive patients with congenital arachnoid cysts treated endoscopically is reported. The ages of the patients at the time of diagnosis ranged from 6 to 47 years with three patients under 15 years. Two cysts were located in the posterior cranial fossa, four in the middle cranial fossa, and one in the suprasellar—prepontine area. The patients' symptoms included headache, seizures, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, balance problems, and precocious puberty. The authors performed cystocisternostomies and ventriculocystostomies via burr holes with the aid of a universal neuroendoscopic system. Minor bleeding was easily controlled by rinsing. In one case, the endoscopic procedure had to be abandoned because of significant bleeding, which obscured a clear operative view, and an open microsurgical cyst fenestration was performed. The follow-up review periods in this group of patients ranged from 15 to 30 months. There was no mortality or morbidity. Symptoms were relieved in five patients and improved in one. Precocious puberty in one case continued. In six cases, follow-up magnetic resonance images or computerized tomography scans revealed a decrease in the size of the cysts. Although the follow-up period is too short to make statements on long-term outcome, the authors recommend the minimally invasive endoscopic approach for treatment of arachnoid cysts as the first therapy of choice. Should the endoscopic procedure fail, established treatment options such as microsurgical fenestration or cystoperitoneal shunting can subsequently be performed without causing additional risk to the patient.