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Marcio S. Rassi, Jean G. de Oliveira and Luis A. B. Borba

Surgical removal of foramen magnum meningiomas poses great challenges due their deep location within the central skull base and their proximity to vital neurovascular structures. This video depicts the operative nuances of surgical management for a 59-year-old female who presented with a right-sided spinocranial meningioma. Simpson Grade I resection was achieved through a right transcondylar approach. The patient’s postoperative period was unremarkable, and she was discharged home on postoperative Day 5 for periodic follow-up. The transcondylar approach safely exposes the craniocervical junction at the anterior aspect of the neuraxis and still allows the surgeon to access the tumor through a parallel plane, with minimum morbidity.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/P0-kXjAkw9U.

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Marcio S. Rassi, Sashank Prasad, Anil Can, Svetlana Pravdenkova, Rami Almefty and Ossama Al-Mefty

OBJECTIVE

Although meningiomas frequently involve the optic nerve, primary optic nerve sheath meningiomas (ONSMs) are rare, accounting for only 1% of all meningiomas. Given the high risk of vision loss with these tumors, surgical intervention is seldom considered, and radiation or observation is commonly applied. Here, the authors describe the visual outcomes for a series of patients who were treated with surgery aiming at maximal tumor resection and highlight their prognostic factors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the data for 8 patients with intracanalicular ONSMs who had been surgically treated by the senior author (O.A.) between 1998 and 2016. Meningiomas extending into the optic canal from the intracranial cavity (i.e., clinoid, sphenoid wing, tuberculum sellae, diaphragma sellae) were excluded. Diagnosis was based on ophthalmological, radiological, and intraoperative findings, which were confirmed by the typical histological findings. Preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up visual assessments were performed by neuro-ophthalmologists in all cases.

RESULTS

The patients included 7 females and 1 male. The mean age at diagnosis was 45.1 years (range 25.0–70.0 years). Mean duration of follow-up was 38.9 months (range 3.0–88.0 months). All patients reported visual complaints, and all had objective evidence of optic nerve dysfunction. Their evaluation included visual field, visual acuity, funduscopy, and retinal fiber thickness. Total resection was obtained in 4 cases. Comparing preoperative and postoperative visual function revealed that 4 patients had improvement at the last follow-up, 1 patient had stable vision, and 3 patients had decreased function but none had total vision loss. All patients with good preoperative visual acuity maintained this status following surgical treatment. There was no surgical mortality or infection. Operative complications included binocular diplopia in 4 patients, which remitted spontaneously.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery can play a beneficial role in the primary treatment of ONSM, especially lesions located in the posterior third of the nerve. Total removal can be achieved with vision preservation or improvement, without major surgical complications, especially at early stages of the disease. Patients with good preoperative vision and CSF flow in the optic sheath have better chances of a favorable outcome than those with poor vision.

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Guilherme H. W. Ceccato, Rodolfo F. M. da Rocha, Julia Goginski, Pedro H. A. da Silva, Gabriel S. de Fraga, Marcio S. Rassi and Luis A. B. Borba

Brainstem cavernous malformations are especially difficult to treat because of their deep location and intimate relation with eloquent structures. This is the case of a 26-year-old female presenting with dizziness, dysmetria, nystagmus and unbalance. Imaging depicted a lesion highly suggestive of a cavernous malformation in the left inferior cerebellar peduncle. Following a suboccipital midline craniotomy, the cerebellomedullary fissure was dissected and the lesion was identified bulging the surface. The malformation was completely removed with constant intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring. The patient presented improvement of initial symptoms with no new deficits. Surgical resection of brainstem cavernous malformations can be successfully performed, especially when superficial, using the inferior cerebellar peduncle as an entry zone.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/-GGZe_CaZnQ.

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Pedro Helo dos Santos Neto, Johnni Oswaldo Zamponi Jr., Rogério Hamerschmidt, Gislaine Richter Minhoto Wiemes, Marcio S. Rassi and Luis A. B. Borba

Hearing loss is the most common symptom of vestibular schwannomas (VSs). The management of these lesions includes observation, radiosurgery, and microsurgical resection. Hearing preservation and rehabilitation are the major challenges after the tumor treatment. A 43-year-old man with previous left-sided profound hearing loss and tinnitus presented with a 2-mm left-sided intracanalicular VS. The decision was made to perform a simultaneous cochlear implantation (CI) and microsurgical resection of the tumor. The patient did well postoperatively, with significant improvement of tinnitus, sound localization, and speech recognition in noise. Previous reports of simultaneous CI and VS resection in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 and sporadic VS in the only hearing ear have been described. The role of CI in patients with VS and normal contralateral hearing has been recently described, showing positive outcomes due to the binaural benefits. Tinnitus also can be treated by the implantation of the cochlear device. The simultaneous microsurgical removal of VS and implantation of a cochlear device is a feasible approach in patients with unilateral hearing loss and severe tinnitus.

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Jean G. de Oliveira, Luis A. B. Borba, Aziz Rassi-Neto, Samuel M. de Moura, Santiago L. Sanchez-Júnior, Márcio S. Rassi, Carlos Vanderlei M. de Holanda and Miguel Giudicissi-Filho

Object

Intracranial aneurysms may grow closer to anterior optic pathways, causing mass effect over these anatomical structures, including visual deficit. The authors retrospectively reviewed a series of aneurysms in patients presenting with visual field deficit caused by mass effect, to analyze the aneurysm's characteristics, the neurosurgical management of these aneurysms, as well as their clinical, visual, and radiological outcomes.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical charts, neuroimaging examination results, and surgical videos of 15 patients presenting with visual symptoms caused by an aneurysm's mass effect over the anterior optic pathways. These patients were treated at the Department of Neurosurgery, Center of Neurology and Neurosurgery Associates, Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo, Brazil. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the variables related to partial or total recovery of the visual symptoms.

Results

All patients underwent microsurgical clip placement and emptying of their aneurysms. After a mean follow-up of 38.5 months, the mean postoperative Glasgow Outcome Scale score was 4.33, and the visual outcomes were as follows: 1 patient (6.6%) unchanged, 7 (46.6%) improved, and 7 (46.6%) experienced complete recovery from visual deficits. The variables that influenced the visual outcomes were the size of the aneurysm (p = 0.039), duration of the visual symptoms (p = 0.002), aneurysm wall calcification (p = 0.010), and intraluminal thrombosis (p = 0.007). Postoperative examination using digital subtraction angiography showed complete aneurysm occlusion in 14 (93.3%) of the 15 patients.

Conclusions

Intracranial aneurysms causing mass effect over the anterior optic pathways usually present with complex features. The best treatment option must include not only the aneurysm occlusion but also relief of the mass effect. Microsurgical clip placement with reduction of aneurysmal mass effect achieved improvement in visual ability or recovery from visual impairment, as well as total aneurysm occlusion, in 93.3% of the study group. Therefore, this option is well supported as the first choice of treatment for intracranial aneurysms presenting with mass effect over the anterior visual pathways.

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Walid I. Essayed, Prashin Unadkat, Ahmed Hosny, Sarah Frisken, Marcio S. Rassi, Srinivasan Mukundan Jr., James C. Weaver, Ossama Al-Mefty, Alexandra J. Golby and Ian F. Dunn

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic endonasal approaches are increasingly performed for the surgical treatment of multiple skull base pathologies. Preventing postoperative CSF leaks remains a major challenge, particularly in extended approaches. In this study, the authors assessed the potential use of modern multimaterial 3D printing and neuronavigation to help model these extended defects and develop specifically tailored prostheses for reconstructive purposes.

METHODS

Extended endoscopic endonasal skull base approaches were performed on 3 human cadaveric heads. Preprocedure and intraprocedure CT scans were completed and were used to segment and design extended and tailored skull base models. Multimaterial models with different core/edge interfaces were 3D printed for implantation trials. A novel application of the intraoperative landmark acquisition method was used to transfer the navigation, helping to tailor the extended models.

RESULTS

Prostheses were created based on preoperative and intraoperative CT scans. The navigation transfer offered sufficiently accurate data to tailor the preprinted extended skull base defect prostheses. Successful implantation of the skull base prostheses was achieved in all specimens. The progressive flexibility gradient of the models’ edges offered the best compromise for easy intranasal maneuverability, anchoring, and structural stability. Prostheses printed based on intraprocedure CT scans were accurate in shape but slightly undersized.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative 3D printing of patient-specific skull base models is achievable for extended endoscopic endonasal surgery. The careful spatial modeling and the use of a flexibility gradient in the design helped achieve the most stable reconstruction. Neuronavigation can help tailor preprinted prostheses.