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Masahiko Kitano and Mamoru Taneda

✓ The authors have developed an extended transsphenoidal approach with submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy for resection of tumors located in the cavernous sinus or the suprasellar region that are difficult to remove via the conventional transsphenoidal approach. Surgery was performed using this approach in 14 patients with large pituitary adenomas, three patients with craniopharyngiomas, and one patient with a meningioma of the tuberculum sellae. The submucosal dissection of the nasal septum used in the conventional transsphenoidal approach was extended to the superior lateral wall of the nasal cavity to expose the bony surface of the superior turbinate lying under the nasal mucosa. Submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy widened the area visualized through the conventional transsphenoidal approach both superiorly and laterally. This provided a safer and less invasive access to lesions in the cavernous sinus or the suprasellar region through the sphenoid sinus. Using this approach the authors encountered no postoperative complications, such as olfactory disturbance, cranial nerve palsy, or arterial injury. In this article the authors present the surgical methods used in this approach.

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Naoki Nakano, Takuya Uchiyama, Takeshi Okuda, Masahiko Kitano and Mamoru Taneda

✓ The authors report a case of hemichorea—hemiballism (HC-HB) that was successfully treated using deep brain stimulation (DBS). A 65-year-old right-handed man exhibited a sudden onset of right HC-HB without a diabetic coma. At admission T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images revealed a high-intensity signal in the left striatum, contralateral to the patient's involuntary movements.

The HC-HB continued for 5 months after onset of the condition despite medical treatment and a decreased intensity of the signal on T1-weighted MR images.

The patient underwent placement of a quadripolar DBS electrode in the left thalamus, including the left ventral oralis (VO) anterior and posterior nuclei (the VO complex). Postoperatively, the right-sided HC-HB disappeared rapidly during electrical stimulation and there were no neurological deficits.

The authors demonstrate that DBS can be an effective treatment for medically refractory HC-HB. This is the first case of HC-HB that has been successfully treated with DBS.

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Masahiko Kitano and Mamoru Taneda

✓The authors describe a newly modified nasal speculum that enables panoramic visualization of the deep and wide surgical field created via an extended transsphenoidal approach. In their approach, the bone around the piriform aperture is not removed.

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Masahiko Kitano, Mamoru Taneda and Yuzo Nakao

Object

Recently, extended transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) has become an alternative to transcranial surgery (TCS) for suprasellar meningiomas, although the relative benefits of ETSS have yet to be established. To evaluate the effectiveness of ETSS, the authors analyzed surgical outcomes of TCS and ETSS.

Methods

During a 12-year period, 28 patients with meningiomas arising from the tuberculum sellae underwent tumor removal at Kinki University Hospital. The first 12 patients underwent TCS, and the remaining 16 underwent ETSS. In the TCS group, the optic canal on the approach side was unroofed in all cases. In the ETSS group bilateral optic canals were opened, and the dural and bone defects of the skull base were repaired using abdominal fascia and hydroxyapatite cement. In half of the cases, lumbar drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was also performed.

Results

In a retrospective analysis of this consecutive series of patients, improvement in visual acuity and intraoperative blood loss were significantly better in the ETSS group (p = 0.010 and p = 0.011, respectively), whereas improvement in visual field defects, operative times, and the tumor removal rate were not significantly different between the two groups. Nonvisual surgical complications such as CSF leakage (one patient) and infarction of a perforating artery (three patients) were observed in the TCS group. In the ETSS group, CSF leakage (two patients), anosmia (two patients), and infarction of a perforating artery (two patients) were observed.

Conclusions

Given the encouraging results in improvement in visual acuity, ETSS may be acceptable for the treatment of tuberculum sellae meningiomas.

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Masahiko Kitano, Mamoru Taneda, Taro Shimono and Yuzo Nakao

Object

The authors devised an extended transsphenoidal approach involving a submucosal posterior ethmoidectomy that allows for adequate exposure of the cavernous sinus. To evaluate the adequacy of this approach for removal of adenomas invading the cavernous sinus, the authors retrospectively analyzed the surgical outcomes obtained in treated patients.

Methods

During a 9-year period, 36 patients with pituitary adenomas extending into the cavernous sinus underwent tumor removal at Kinki University Hospital. In the authors' technique of extended transsphenoidal surgery, the inferior wall of the affected cavernous sinus was entirely exposed, not only to permit safe removal of the tumor but also to secure the petrous portion of the internal carotid artery (ICA). For prevention of intraoperative injury to the cranial nerves, a low-profile pressure sensor was attached on the eyelid to detect eye movements in response to electrical stimulation of the cranial nerves.

Results

Total or subtotal tumor removal was achieved in 72% of 36 patients. In eight (67%) of 12 patients with growth hormone–secreting adenomas, hormonal remission was achieved postoperatively. Postoperative transient double vision was observed in 27% of the patients, but no serious complications, such as permanent cranial nerve palsy or ICA injury, occurred.

Conclusions

These reasonable surgical results obtained in the present series of patients suggest that the extended transsphenoidal approach is safe and effective for removal of adenomas within the cavernous sinus. These preliminary results may lead to a reevaluation of the role of surgery as the therapeutic strategy for invasive pituitary adenomas.

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Mario Francesco Fraioli and Laura Moschettoni