Paolo Cappabianca, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Domenico Solari and Felice Esposito
Paolo Cappabianca, Luigi Maria Cavallo, AnnaMaria Colao and Enrico de Divitiis
Object. To assess postoperative complications related to the surgical procedure, a retrospective analysis was conducted in a series of 146 consecutively treated patients who underwent an endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach to the sellar region for resection of pituitary adenomas between January 1997 and July 2001.
Methods. Complications were divided into groups (nasofacial, sphenoid sinus, sella turcica, supra or parasellar, and endocrine complications) according to the anatomical structures and the systems involved. Overall, a decreased incidence of complications has been observed, compared with large historical series of the traditional microsurgical transsphenoidal approach, likely because of the overview inside the anatomy facilitated by the endoscope, and the decreased surgical trauma.
Conclusions. Transsphenoidal surgery, either microscopic or endoscopic, is a safe procedure in experienced hands, but serious complications still occur and must be reduced as much as possible. Additional improvement can be expected with greater experience and new technical developments. A coordinated team effort with other dedicated colleagues from different specialties is advised.
Francesca Pecori Giraldi, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Fabio Tortora, Rosario Pivonello, Annamaria Colao, Paolo Cappabianca and Franco Mantero
In the management of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)–dependent Cushing's syndrome, inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS) provides information for the endocrinologist, the neurosurgeon, and the neuroradiologist. To the endocrinologist who performs the etiological diagnosis, results of IPSS confirm or exclude the diagnosis of Cushing's disease with 80%–100% sensitivity and over 95% specificity. Baseline central-peripheral gradients have suboptimal accuracy, and stimulation with corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), possibly desmopressin, has to be performed. The rationale for the use of IPSS in this context depends on other diagnostic means, taking availability of CRH and reliability of dynamic testing and pituitary imaging into account. As regards the other specialists, the neuroradiologist may collate results of IPSS with findings at imaging, while IPSS may prove useful to the neurosurgeon to chart a surgical course. The present review illustrates the current standpoint of these 3 specialists on the role of IPSS.
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.
Alberto Di Somma, Jorge Torales, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Jose Pineda, Domenico Solari, Rosa Maria Gerardi, Federico Frio, Joaquim Enseñat, Alberto Prats-Galino and Paolo Cappabianca
The extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum transplanum approach is currently used for the surgical treatment of selected midline anterior skull base lesions. Nevertheless, the possibility of accessing the lateral aspects of the planum sphenoidale could represent a limitation for such an approach. To the authors’ knowledge, a clear definition of the eventual anatomical boundaries has not been delineated. Hence, the present study aimed to detail and quantify the maximum amount of bone removal over the planum sphenoidale required via the endonasal pathway to achieve the most lateral extension of such a corridor and to evaluate the relative surgical freedom.
Six human cadaveric heads were dissected at the Laboratory of Surgical NeuroAnatomy of the University of Barcelona. The laboratory rehearsals were run as follows: 1) preliminary predissection CT scans, 2) the endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum transplanum approach (lateral limit: medial optocarotid recess) followed by postdissection CT scans, 3) maximum lateral extension of the transtuberculum transplanum approach followed by postdissection CT scans, and 4) bone removal and surgical freedom analysis (a nonpaired Student t-test). A conventional subfrontal bilateral approach was used to evaluate, from above, the bone removal from the planum sphenoidale and the lateral limit of the endonasal route.
The endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum transplanum approach was extended at its maximum lateral aspect in the lateral portion of the anterior skull base, removing the bone above the optic prominence, that is, the medial portion of the lesser sphenoid wing, including the anterior clinoid process. As expected, a greater bone removal volume was obtained compared with the approach when bone removal is limited to the medial optocarotid recess (average 533.45 vs 296.07 mm2; p < 0.01). The anteroposterior diameter was an average of 8.1 vs 15.78 mm, and the laterolateral diameter was an average of 18.77 vs 44.54 mm (p < 0.01). The neurovascular contents of this area were exposed up to the insular segment of the middle cerebral artery. The surgical freedom analysis revealed a possible increased lateral maneuverability of instruments inserted in the contralateral nostril compared with a midline target (average 384.11 vs 235.31 mm2; p < 0.05).
Bone removal from the medial aspect of the lesser sphenoid wing, including the anterior clinoid process, may increase the exposure and surgical freedom of the extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum transplanum approach over the lateral segment of the anterior skull base. Although this study represents a preliminary anatomical investigation, it could be useful to refine the indications and limitations of the endoscopic endonasal corridor for the surgical management of skull base lesions involving the lateral portion of the planum sphenoidale.
Luigi Maria Cavallo, Giorgio Frank, Paolo Cappabianca, Domenico Solari, Diego Mazzatenta, Alessandro Villa, Matteo Zoli, Alfonso Iodice D'Enza, Felice Esposito and Ernesto Pasquini
Despite their benign histological appearance, craniopharyngiomas can be considered a challenge for the neurosurgeon and a possible source of poor prognosis for the patient. With the widespread use of the endoscope in endonasal surgery, this route has been proposed over the past decade as an alternative technique for the removal of craniopharyngiomas.
The authors retrospectively analyzed data from a series of 103 patients who underwent the endoscopic endonasal approach at two institutions (Division of Neurosurgery of the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy, and Division of Neurosurgery of the Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy), between January 1997 and December 2012, for the removal of infra- and/or supradiaphragmatic craniopharyngiomas. Twenty-nine patients (28.2%) had previously been surgically treated.
The authors achieved overall gross-total removal in 68.9% of the cases: 78.9% in purely infradiaphragmatic lesions and 66.3% in lesions involving the supradiaphragmatic space. Among lesions previously treated surgically, the gross-total removal rate was 62.1%. The overall improvement rate in visual disturbances was 74.7%, whereas worsening occurred in 2.5%. No new postoperative defect was noted. Worsening of the anterior pituitary function was reported in 46.2% of patients overall, and there were 38 new cases (48.1% of 79) of postoperative diabetes insipidus. The most common complication was postoperative CSF leakage; the overall rate was 14.6%, and it diminished to 4% in the last 25 procedures, thanks to improvement in reconstruction techniques. The mortality rate was 1.9%, with a mean follow-up duration of 48 months (range 3–246 months).
The endoscopic endonasal approach has become a valid surgical technique for the management of craniopharyngiomas. It provides an excellent corridor to infra- and supradiaphragmatic midline craniopharyngiomas, including the management of lesions extending into the third ventricle chamber. Even though indications for this approach are rigorously lesion based, the data in this study confirm its effectiveness in a large patient series.
Luigi Maria Cavallo, Andrea Messina, Felice Esposito, Oreste de Divitiis, Mateus Dal Fabbro, Enrico de Divitiis and Paolo Cappabianca
The extended transsphenoidal approach to the suprasellar region has the advantages of minimal invasiveness and brain manipulation in the surgical treatment of small to medium lesions. At the same time, however, it carries a higher risk of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage and related complications than those for the standard transsphenoidal approach. Effective reconstruction of large skull base defects is a major concern in such extended approaches and remains challenging.
Between January 2004 and April 2006, 21 patients affected by different suprasellar lesions underwent the extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum-transplanum approach. Three different techniques were used for the skull base reconstructions. In all cases, dehydrated human pericardium (Tutoplast) for dural reconstruction and a copolymer of l-lactic acid and glycolic acid (LactoSorb) as a bone substitute were used. Collagen sponges, fibrin glue, and an inflated Foley balloon catheter were also used to fill the sphenoid sinus cavity.
Two cases of postoperative CSF leaks (9.5%) and one case of mycotic sinusitis (4.8%) occurred following the intradural (inlay) and intraextradural (inlay-overlay) graft positioning. No cases of postoperative CSF leakage occurred in cases in which the extradural-only reconstruction procedure was applied. No meningitis or other complications related to the closure were noticed.
The rate of postoperative CSF leakage after an extended approach to the suprasellar area is higher compared with that following standard pituitary surgery. Reconstruction after craniopharyngioma surgery exposes patients to an increased risk of postoperative CSF leaks. The extradural (overlay) technique was found to be the most effective in assuring a watertight closure.
Alberto Di Somma, Norberto Andaluz, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Matteo de Notaris, Iacopo Dallan, Domenico Solari, Lee A. Zimmer, Jeffrey T. Keller, Mario Zuccarello, Alberto Prats-Galino and Paolo Cappabianca
Recent studies have proposed the superior eyelid endoscopic transorbital approach as a new minimally invasive route to access orbital lesions, mostly in otolaryngology and maxillofacial surgeries. The authors undertook this anatomical study in order to contribute a neurosurgical perspective, exploring the anterior and middle cranial fossa areas through this purely endoscopic transorbital trajectory.
Anatomical dissections were performed in 10 human cadaveric heads (20 sides) using 0° and 30° endoscopes. A step-by-step description of the superior eyelid transorbital endoscopic route and surgically oriented classification are provided.
The authors’ cadaveric prosection of this approach defined 3 modular routes that could be combined. Two corridors using bone removal lateral to the superior and inferior orbital fissures exposed the middle and anterior cranial fossa (lateral orbital corridors to the anterior and middle cranial base) to unveil the temporal pole region, lateral wall of the cavernous sinus, middle cranial fossa floor, and frontobasal area (i.e., orbital and recti gyri of the frontal lobe). Combined, these 2 corridors exposed the lateral aspect of the lesser sphenoid wing with the Sylvian region (combined lateral orbital corridor to the anterior and middle cranial fossa, with lesser sphenoid wing removal). The medial corridor, with extension of bone removal medially to the superior and inferior orbital fissure, afforded exposure of the opticocarotid area (medial orbital corridor to the opticocarotid area).
Along with its minimally invasive nature, the superior eyelid transorbital approach allows good visualization and manipulation of anatomical structures mainly located in the anterior and middle cranial fossae (i.e., lateral to the superior and inferior orbital fissures). The visualization and management of the opticocarotid region medial to the superior orbital fissure are more complex. Further studies are needed to prove clinical applications of this relatively novel surgical pathway.
Alberto Di Somma, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Matteo de Notaris, Domenico Solari, Thomaz E. Topczewski, Manuel Bernal-Sprekelsen, Joaquim Enseñat, Alberto Prats-Galino and Paolo Cappabianca
Different surgical routes have been used over the years to achieve adequate decompression of the optic nerve in its canal including, more recently, endoscopic approaches performed either through the endonasal corridor or the transorbital one. The present study aimed to detail and quantify the amount of bone removal around the optic canal, achievable via medial-to-lateral endonasal and lateral-to-medial transorbital endoscopic trajectories.
Five human cadaveric heads (10 sides) were dissected at the Laboratory of Surgical Neuroanatomy of the University of Barcelona (Spain). The laboratory rehearsals were run as follows: 1) preliminary preoperative CT scans of each specimen, 2) anatomical endoscopic endonasal and transorbital dissections and Dextroscope-based morphometric analysis, and 3) quantitative analysis of optic canal bone removal for both endonasal and transorbital endoscopic approaches.
The endoscopic endonasal route permitted exposure and removal of the most inferomedial portion of the optic canal (an average of 168°), whereas the transorbital pathway allowed good control of its superolateral part (an average of 192°). Considering the total circumference of the optic canal (360°), the transorbital route enabled removal of a mean of 53.3% of bone, mainly the superolateral portion. The endonasal approach provided bone removal of a mean of 46.7% of the inferomedial aspect. This result was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). The morphometric analysis performed with the aid of the Dextroscope (a virtual reality environment) showed that the simulation of the transorbital trajectory may provide a shorter surgical corridor with a wider angle of approach (39.6 mm; 46.8°) compared with the simulation of the endonasal pathway (52.9 mm; 23.8°).
Used together, these 2 endoscopic surgical paths (endonasal and transorbital) may allow a 360° decompression of the optic nerve. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first anatomical study on transorbital optic nerve decompression to show its feasibility. Further studies and, eventually, surgical case series are mandatory to confirm the effectiveness of these approaches, thereby refining the proper indications for each of them.