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Matteo Zoli, Laura Milanese, Rocco Bonfatti, Marco Faustini-Fustini, Gianluca Marucci, Giovanni Tallini, Corrado Zenesini, Carmelo Sturiale, Giorgio Frank, Ernesto Pasquini and Diego Mazzatenta

OBJECTIVE

In the past decade, the role of the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has relevantly evolved for skull base tumors. In this study, the authors review their surgical experience with using an EEA in the treatment of clival chordomas, which are deep and infiltrative skull base lesions, and they highlight the advantages and limitations of this ventral approach.

METHODS

All consecutive cases of chordoma treated with an EEA between 1998 and 2015 at a single institution are included in this study. Preoperative assessment consisted of neuroimaging (MRI and CT with angiography sequences) and endocrinological, neurological, and ophthalmological evaluations, which were repeated 3 months after surgery and annually thereafter. Postoperative adjuvant therapies were considered.

RESULTS

Sixty-five patients (male/female ratio 1:0.9) were included in this study. The median age was 48 years (range 9–80 years). Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 47 cases (58.7%). On univariate analysis, primary procedures (p = 0.001), location in the superior or middle third of the clivus (p = 0.043), extradural location (p = 0.035), and histology of conventional chordomas (p = 0.013) were associated with a higher rate of GTR. The complication rate was 15.1%, and there were no perioperative deaths. Most complications did not result in permanent sequelae and included 2 CSF leaks (2.5%), 5 transient cranial nerve VI palsies (6.2%), and 2 internal carotid artery injuries (2.5%), which were treated with coil occlusion of the internal carotid artery without neurological deficits. Three patients (3.8%) presented with complications resulting in permanent neurological deficits due to a postoperative hematoma (1.2%) causing a hemiparesis, and 2 permanent ophthalmoplegias (2.5%). Seventeen patients (26.2%) have died of tumor progression over the course of follow-up (median 52 months, range 7–159 months). Based on Kaplan-Meier analysis, the survival rate was 77% at 5 years and 57% at 10 years. On multivariate analysis, the extent of tumor removal (p = 0.001) and the absence of previous treatments (p = 0.001) proved to be correlated with a longer survival rate.

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA was associated with a high rate of tumor removal and symptom control, with low morbidity and preservation of a good quality of life. These results allow for a satisfactory overall survival rate, particularly after GTR and for primary surgery. Considering these results, the authors believe that an EEA can be a helpful tool in chordoma surgery, achieving a good balance between as much tumor removal as possible and the preservation of an acceptable patient quality of life.

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Matteo Zoli, Giacomo Sollini, Laura Milanese, Emanuele La Corte, Arianna Rustici, Federica Guaraldi, Sofia Asioli, Luigi Cirillo, Ernesto Pasquini and Diego Mazzatenta

OBJECTIVE

Surgical treatment of orbital lesions is challenging because complex approaches with a high risk of postoperative sequelae are required. Recently, minimally invasive endoscopic approaches through endonasal (EEA) and transpalpebral (ETP) routes have been proposed. The objective of this study was to assess outcomes of EEA and ETP in the authors’ series of patients with orbital lesions.

METHODS

Data from all patients who underwent operations for an orbital tumor through an endoscopic approach at the authors’ institution from 2002 to 2018 were retrospectively collected. All patients underwent preoperative MRI and ophthalmological evaluation, which was repeated 3 months after surgery and then at regular follow-up intervals. A systematic review of the literature was also performed using Medline, Embase, and Web of Science databases.

RESULTS

The series includes 23 patients (14 males); the mean patient age was 48 ± 23.9 years. Most of the lesions were intraconal (n = 19, 83%). The more frequent histotype was cavernous hemangioma (n = 5, 22%). Exophthalmos was the most common symptom (21 of 23 patients). EEA was performed in 16 cases (70%) and ETP in 7 (30%). The aim of the surgery was achieved in 94% of the cases after an EEA (successful biopsy in 5 of 6 cases and radical resection in all 10 remaining patients), and in 86% after an ETP (successful biopsy in 2 cases and radical tumor resection in 4 of 5 cases). Complications consisted of 3 cases (13%) of transitory diplopia. One recurrence (4%) was observed at follow-up (mean 59 ± 55 months).

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA and ETP have demonstrated to be safe and effective for tumors located respectively in medial and lateral quadrants, permitting one to approach orbital lesions endoscopically at 360°. Innovative surgical tools, including intraoperative ultrasonography, may be useful to potentially reduce surgical morbidity. Larger series are needed to validate these preliminary suggestions.

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Matteo Zoli, Luisa Sambati, Laura Milanese, Matteo Foschi, Marco Faustini-Fustini, Gianluca Marucci, Dario de Biase, Giovanni Tallini, Annagrazia Cecere, Francesco Mignani, Carmelo Sturiale, Giorgio Frank, Ernesto Pasquini, Pietro Cortelli, Diego Mazzatenta and Federica Provini

OBJECTIVE

One of the more serious risks in the treatment of third ventricle craniopharyngiomas is represented by hypothalamic damage. Recently, many papers have reported the expansion of the indications for the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) to be used for these tumors as well. The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of sleep-wake cycle and body core temperature (BCT), both depending on hypothalamic control, in patients affected by craniopharyngiomas involving the third ventricle that were surgically treated via an EEA.

METHODS

All consecutive adult patients with craniopharyngiomas that were treated at one center via an EEA between 2014 and 2016 were prospectively included. Each patient underwent neuroradiological, endocrinological, and ophthalmological evaluation; 24-hour monitoring of the BCT rhythm; and the sleep-wake cycle before surgery and at follow-up of at least 6 months.

RESULTS

Ten patients were included in the study (male/female ratio 4:6, mean age 48.6 years, SD 15.9 years). Gross-total resection was achieved in 8 cases. Preoperative BCT rhythm was pathological in 6 patients. After surgery, these disturbances resolved in 2 cases, improved in another 3, and remained the same in 1 patient; also, 1 case of de novo onset was observed. Before surgery the sleep-wake cycle was pathological in 8 cases, and it was restored in 4 patients at follow-up. After surgery the number of patients reporting diurnal naps increased from 7 to 9.

CONCLUSIONS

The outcome of the sleep-wake cycle and BCT analyzed after EEA in this study is promising. Despite the short duration of the authors' experience, they consider these results encouraging; additional series are needed to confirm the preliminary findings.