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Jennifer A. Moliterno, Lynn L. Mubita, Clark Huang and John A. Boockvar

Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) is an effective, minimally invasive approach for the resection of anterior skull base tumors. Cerebrospinal leakage is a common complication, and repair of the anterior skull base defect with alloplastic materials has been used to minimize the risk of postoperative CSF rhinorrhea and meningitis. Injectable cements, such as low-viscosity polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), are useful for cranial base reconstruction because they are easy to shape to the contour of the defect. These low-viscosity materials, however, are more susceptible to leakage into the nasal cavity prohibiting their use and are prone to cracking upon hardening. Cement extravasation not only obstructs the operator's view during placement, but it is also associated with significant local and systemic complications. High-viscosity (HV) PMMA–based cement and its specialized delivery system have recently been shown to be safe and effective in human applications. Moreover, its constant high viscosity significantly reduces cement leakage and its associated complications. The authors hypothesized that this type of cement would therefore be ideal for ETSS to repair anterior skull base defects. The authors report their experience using HV-PMMA to reconstruct the anterior skull base in 12 patients following ETSS. The unique puttylike consistency of this material is easy to work, malleable, does not leak into the nasal cavity, does not aspirate into suction tubing, and hardens without cracks in less than 10 minutes. None of the 12 patients suffered postoperative CSF leaks or infections more than 8 months, on average, after surgery. Although not necessary in all cases of ETSS, the authors conclude that HV-PMMA, if needed, may be an excellent choice for reconstructing the anterior skull base after ETSS. Further studies are needed to better assess the long-term outcomes of HV-PMMA cement and its use in repairing skull base defects after extended ETSS.

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Christoph P. Hofstetter, Raaid H. Mannaa, Lynn Mubita, Vijay K. Anand, John W. Kennedy, Amir R. Dehdashti and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

The aim of this study was to determine the preoperative predictors of the extent of resection and endocrinological remission following endonasal endoscopic removal of growth hormone (GH)-secreting pituitary adenomas.

Methods

The authors analyzed a prospectively collected database of 24 consecutive acromegalic patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. The extent of resection was evaluated on postoperative contrast-enhanced MR imaging. Endocrinological remission was defined as normal insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) serum levels and either a nadir GH level of < 0.4 ng/ml after an oral glucose load or a basal GH serum level < 1 ng/ml.

Results

The majority of acromegalic patients (83%) had macroadenomas > 1 cm in maximum diameter. Gross-total resection was achieved in 17 (71%) of 24 patients. Notably, endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery allowed complete resection of all lesions without cavernous sinus invasion, regardless of the suprasellar extent. Biochemical remission was achieved in 11 (46%) of 24 patients. A smaller tumor volume and a postoperative reduction in GH serum levels were associated with a higher rate of biochemical cure (p < 0.05). During a 23-month follow-up period 5 patients (21%) underwent Gamma Knife treatment of any residual disease to further reduce excess GH production. Twenty patients (83%) reported significant relief of their symptoms, while 3 (13%) considered their symptoms stable. Two patients (8%) with large macroadenomas experienced postoperative panhypopituitarism, and 2 patients (8%) suffered from CSF leaks, which were treated with lumbar CSF diversion.

Conclusions

A purely endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal adenoma resection leads to a high rate of gross-total tumor resection and endocrinological remission in acromegalic patients, even those harboring macroadenomas with wide suprasellar extension. Extended approaches and angled endoscopes are useful tools for increasing the extent of resection.

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Christoph P. Hofstetter, Benjamin J. Shin, Lynn Mubita, Clark Huang, Vijay K. Anand, John A. Boockvar and Theodore H. Schwartz

Object

The purpose of this study was to analyze preoperative predictors of endocrinological remission following endonasal endoscopic resection of therapy-resistant prolactin-, growth hormone (GH)–, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)–secreting pituitary adenomas and to establish benchmarks for cure by using the most recent consensus criteria.

Methods

The authors reviewed a prospective database of 86 consecutive functional pituitary adenomas that were resected by a purely endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal technique. Extent of resection was evaluated on postoperative contrast-enhanced MR imaging. Endocrinological remission was defined according to the most recent consensus criteria.

Results

The majority of functional adenomas (62.8%) were classified as macroadenomas (> 1 cm in maximum diameter), and 20.9% of lesions had invaded the cavernous sinus (CS) at the time of surgery. A gross-total resection was achieved in 75.6% of all patients. The rate of endocrinological remission differed between various types of functional adenomas. Cure rates were 92.3% (microadenomas) and 57.1% (macroadenomas) for prolactinomas, 75% (microadenomas) and 40% (macroadenomas) for GH-secreting tumors, and 54.5% (microadenomas) and 71.4% (macroadenomas) for ACTH-secreting tumors. Lower rates of cure occurred in GH-secreting macroadenomas due to a high rate of CS invasion, and in ACTH-secreting adenomas due to a high rate of lesions that were not visible on preoperative MR imaging. Whereas univariate analysis showed that macroadenoma, suprasellar, cavernous extension, or extent of resection correlated with cure, on multivariate analysis, only extent of resection and suprasellar extension predicted cure. One patient developed postoperative meningitis that was complicated by hydrocephalus requiring a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Two patients developed postoperative panhypopituitarism, and 2 patients suffered from CSF leaks, which were treated with lumbar CSF diversion.

Conclusions

This paper reports benchmarks for endocrinological cure as well as complications in a large series of purely endoscopic pituitary surgeries by using the most recent consensus criteria. The advantages of extended endonasal approaches are most profound in tumors with suprasellar extension and CS invasion.