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Mina M. Gerges, Brett Youngerman, Vijay K. Anand, Jeffrey P. Greenfield and Theodore H. Schwartz

An 8-year-old child presented with fatigue, weight loss, and visual deterioration. MRI demonstrated a craniopharyngioma with compression of the optic chiasm and extensive edema on the hypothalamus and optic radiations. The tumor was completely removed via an endoscopic endonasal approach. Postoperatively, vision improved and hypothalamic edema completely resolved within 5 days. This video demonstrates the technical nuances of the surgery and discusses the impact of surgery on the hypothalamic nuclei in pediatric patients.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/wxkBmhTPi6c.

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Mina M. Gerges, Saniya S. Godil, Iyan Younus, Michael Rezk and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The infratemporal fossa (ITF) and parapharyngeal space are anatomical regions that can be challenging to access without the use of complex, cosmetically disfiguring approaches. With advances in endoscopic techniques, a new group of surgical approaches to access the intracranial space through the orbit has been recently referred to as transorbital neuroendoscopic surgery (TONES). The objective of this study was to establish a transorbital endoscopic approach utilizing the inferior orbital fissure (IOF) to gain access to the ITF and parapharyngeal space and provide a detailed endoscopic anatomical description of this approach.

METHODS

Four cadaveric heads (8 sides) were dissected using a TONES approach through the IOF to reach the ITF and parapharyngeal space, providing stepwise dissection with detailed anatomical findings and a description of each step.

RESULTS

An inferior eyelid approach was made with subperiosteal periorbital dissection to the IOF. The zygomatic and greater wing of the sphenoid were drilled, forming the boundaries of the IOF. The upper head of the lateral pterygoid muscle in the ITF and parapharyngeal space was removed, and 7 distinct planes were described, each with its own anatomical contents. The second part of the maxillary artery was mainly found in plane 1 between the temporalis laterally and the lateral pterygoid muscle in plane 2. The branches of the mandibular nerve (V3) and middle meningeal artery (MMA) were identified in plane 3. Plane 4 was formed by the fascia of the medial pterygoid muscle (MTM) and the tensor veli palatini muscle. The prestyloid segment, found in plane 5, was composed mainly of fat and lymph nodes. The parapharyngeal carotid artery in the poststyloid segment, found in plane 7, was identified after laterally dissecting the styloid diaphragm, found in plane 6. V3 and the origin of the levator and tensor veli palatini muscles serve as landmarks for identification of the parapharyngeal carotid artery.

CONCLUSIONS

The transorbital endoscopic approach provides excellent access to the ITF and parapharyngeal space compared to previously described complex and morbid transfacial or transcranial approaches. Using the IOF is an important and useful landmark that permits a wide exposure.

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Iyan Younus, Mina M. Gerges, Georgiana A. Dobri, Rohan Ramakrishna and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Hospital readmission is a key component in value-based healthcare models but there are limited data about the 30-day readmission rate after endonasal endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for pituitary adenoma. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence and identify factors associated with 30-day readmission after EETS for pituitary adenoma.

METHODS

The authors analyzed a prospectively acquired database of patients who underwent EETS for pituitary adenoma from 2005 to 2018 at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine. Clinical, socioeconomic, and radiographic data were reviewed for cases of unplanned readmission within 30 days of surgery and, as a control group, for all other patients in the series who were not readmitted. Statistical significance was determined with an alpha < 0.05 using Pearson’s chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests for categorical variables and the independent-samples t-test for continuous variables.

RESULTS

Of 584 patients undergoing EETS for pituitary adenoma, 27 (4.6%) had unplanned readmission within 30 days. Most readmissions occurred within the first week after surgery, with a mean time to readmission of 6.6 ± 3.9 days. The majority of readmissions (59%) were for hyponatremia. These patients had a mean sodium level of 120.6 ± 4.6 mEq/L at presentation. Other causes of readmission were epistaxis (11%), spinal headache (11%), sellar hematoma (7.4%), CSF leak (3.7%), nonspecific headache (3.7%), and pulmonary embolism (3.7%). The postoperative length of stay was significantly shorter for patients who were readmitted than for the controls (2.7 ± 1.0 days vs 3.9 ± 3.2 days; p < 0.05). Patients readmitted for hyponatremia had an initial length of stay of 2.6 ± 0.9 days, the shortest of any cause for readmission. The mean BMI was significantly lower for readmitted patients than for the controls (26.4 ± 3.9 kg/m2 vs 29.3 ± 6.1 kg/m2; p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Readmission after EETS for pituitary adenoma is a relatively rare phenomenon, with delayed hyponatremia being the primary cause. The study results demonstrate that shorter postoperative length of stay and lower BMI were associated with 30-day readmission.

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Iyan Younus, Mina M. Gerges, Saniya S. Godil, Rafael Uribe-Cardenas, Georgiana A. Dobri, Rohan Ramakrishna and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative sellar hematoma is an uncommon complication of endonasal endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for pituitary adenoma that often requires emergency surgical evacuation. Sellar hematomas can cause mass effect and compress parasellar structures, leading to clinically significant symptoms such as visual impairment and severe headache. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence and risk factors associated with reoperation for postoperative hematoma after EETS for pituitary adenoma.

METHODS

The authors reviewed a prospectively acquired database of EETS for pituitary adenoma over 13 years at Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and identified cases that required reoperation for confirmed hematoma. They also reviewed clinical and radiographic data of a consecutive series of patients undergoing EETS for pituitary adenoma who did not have postoperative hematoma, which served as the control group. Demographic data and risk factors were compared between the groups using univariate and multivariate analyses via binary logistic regression.

RESULTS

Among a cohort of 583 patients undergoing EETS for pituitary adenoma, 9 patients (1.5%) required operation for sellar hematoma evacuation. All 9 patients with reoperation for sellar hematoma presented with worsening in their vision, and severe headache was present in 67%. New postoperative endocrine dysfunction developed in 78%. Clot evacuation improved vision in 88%. The mean time to hematoma evacuation was 4.5 days. The median length of stay for patients with sellar hematoma was 8 days (range 4–210 days) compared with a median length of stay of 3 days (range 1–32 days) for the control patients (p < 0.005). Significant risk factors in univariate analysis were tumor diameter ≥ 30 mm (p < 0.005), suprasellar extension (p < 0.005), tumor volume (p < 0.005), cavernous sinus invasion (p < 0.05), gonadotroph histology (p < 0.05), antiplatelet use (p < 0.05), and elevated BMI (p < 0.05). On multivariate analysis, tumor diameter ≥ 30 mm (OR 4.555, CI 1.30–28.90; p < 0.05) and suprasellar extension (OR 1.048, CI 1.01–1.10; p < 0.05) were found to be the only independent predictors of sellar hematoma. The incidence of hematoma in tumors ≥ 30 mm was 5% (7/139).

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative sellar hematoma requiring reoperation is a rare phenomenon after transsphenoidal surgery, often presenting with visual loss and headache. Clot evacuation results in improvement in vision, but long-term endocrinopathy often ensues. Tumor diameter ≥ 30 mm and suprasellar extent are the most reliable risk factors. Close postoperative scrutiny should be given to patients at high risk.

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Iyan Younus, Mina M. Gerges, Rafael Uribe-Cardenas, Peter F. Morgenstern, Mahmoud Eljalby, Abtin Tabaee, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) to the skull base have evolved over the last 20 years to become an essential component of a comprehensive skull base practice. Many case series show a learning curve from the earliest cases, in which the authors were inexperienced or were not using advanced closure techniques. It is generally accepted that once this learning curve is achieved, a plateau is reached with little incremental improvement. Cases performed during the early steep learning curve were eliminated to examine whether the continued improvement exists over the “tail end” of the curve.

METHODS

A prospectively acquired database of all EEA cases performed by the senior authors at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital was reviewed. The first 200 cases were eliminated and the next 1000 consecutive cases were examined to avoid the bias created by the early learning curve.

RESULTS

Of the 1000 cases, the most common pathologies included pituitary adenoma (51%), meningoencephalocele or CSF leak repair (8.6%), meningioma (8.4%), craniopharyngioma (7.3%), basilar invagination (3.1%), Rathke’s cleft cyst (2.8%), and chordoma (2.4%). Use of lumbar drains decreased from the first half to the second half of our series (p <0.05) as did the authors’ use of fat alone (p <0.005) or gasket alone (p <0.005) for dural closure, while the use of a nasoseptal flap increased (p <0.005). Although mean tumor diameter was constant (on average), gross-total resection (GTR) increased from 60% in the first half to 73% in the second half (p <0.005). GTR increased for all pathologies but most significantly for chordoma (56% vs 100%, p <0.05), craniopharyngioma (47% vs 0.71%, p <0.05) and pituitary adenoma (67% vs 75%, p <0.05). Hormonal cure for secreting adenomas also increased from 83% in the first half to 89% in the second half (p <0.05). The rate of any complication was unchanged at 6.4% in the first half and 6.2% in the latter half of cases, and vascular injury occurred in only 0.6% of cases. Postoperative CSF leak occurred in 2% of cases and was unchanged between the first and second half of the series.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, the surgical learning curve does not plateau but can continue for several years depending on the complexity of the endpoints considered. These findings may have implications for clinical trial design, surgical education, and patient safety measures.

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Mina M. Gerges, Kavelin Rumalla, Saniya S. Godil, Iyan Younus, Walid Elshamy, Georgiana A. Dobri, Ashutosh Kacker, Abtin Tabaee, Viay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing tumors. After gross-total resection (GTR) or subtotal resection (STR), tumors can recur or progress and may ultimately require additional intervention. A greater understanding of long-term recurrence and progression rates following complete or partial resection and the need for further intervention will help clinicians provide meaningful counsel for their patients and assist data-driven decision-making.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed their institutional database for patients undergoing endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) for nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas (2003–2014). Only patients with follow-up of at least 5 years after surgery were included. Tumor volumes were measured on pre- and postoperative MRI. Tumor recurrence was defined as the presence of a 0.1-cm3 tumor volume after GTR, and tumor progression was defined as a 25.0% increase in residual tumor after STR.

RESULTS

A total of 190 patients were included, with a mean age of 63.8 ± 13.2 years; 79 (41.6%) were female. The mean follow-up was 75.0 ± 18.0 months. GTR was achieved in 127 (66.8%) patients. In multivariate analysis, age (p = 0.04), preoperative tumor volume (p = 0.03), Knosp score (p < 0.001), and Ki-67 (p = 0.03) were significant predictors of STR. In patients with GTR, the probability of recurrence at 5 and 10 years was 3.9% and 4.7%, and the probability of requiring treatment for recurrence was 0.79% and 1.6%, respectively. In 63 patients who underwent STR, 6 (9.5%) received early postoperative radiation and did not experience progression, while the remaining 57 (90.5%) were observed. Of these, the probability of disease progression at 5 and 10 years was 21% and 24.5%, respectively, and the probability of requiring additional treatment for progression was 17.5% and 21%. Predictors of recurrence or progression in the entire group were Knosp score (p < 0.001) and elevated Ki-67 (p = 0.03). Significant predictors of progression after STR in those who did not receive early radiotherapy were cavernous sinus location (p < 0.05) and tumor size > 1.0 cm3 (p = 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS

Following GTR for nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas, the 10-year chance of recurrence is low and the need for treatment even lower. After STR, although upfront radiation therapy may prevent progression, even without radiotherapy, the need for intervention at 10 years is only approximately 20% and a period of observation may be warranted to prevent unnecessary prophylactic radiation therapy. Tumor volume > 1 cm3, Knosp score ≥ 3, and Ki-67 ≥ 3% may be useful metrics to prompt closer follow-up or justify early prophylactic radiation therapy.

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Brett E. Youngerman, Matei A. Banu, Mina M. Gerges, Eseosa Odigie, Abtin Tabaee, Ashutosh Kacker, Vijay K. Anand and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has gained increasing popularity for the resection of suprasellar meningiomas (SSMs). Appropriate case selection is critical in optimizing patient outcome. Long-term outcome data are lacking. The authors systematically identified preoperative factors associated with extent of resection (EOR) and determined the relationship between EOR and long-term recurrence after EEA for SSMs.

METHODS

In this retrospective cohort study, the authors identified preoperative clinical and imaging characteristics associated with EOR and built on the recently published University of California, San Francisco resectability score to propose a score more specific to the EEA. They then examined the relationship between gross-total resection (GTR; 100%), near-total resection (NTR; 95%–99%), and subtotal resection (STR; < 95%) and recurrence or progression with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 51 patients were identified. Radiographic GTR was achieved in 40 of 47 (85%) patients in whom it was the surgical goal. Significant independent risk factors for incomplete resection were prior surgery (OR 25.94, 95% CI < 2.00 to 336.49, p = 0.013); tumor lateral to the optic nerve (OR 13.41, 95% CI 1.82–98.99, p = 0.011); and complete internal carotid artery (ICA) encasement (OR 15.12, 95% CI 1.17–194.08, p = 0.037). Tumor size and optic canal invasion were not significant risk factors after adjustment for other variables. A resectability score based on the multivariable model successfully predicted the likelihood of GTR; a score of 0 had a positive predictive value of 97% for GTR, whereas a score of 2 had a negative predictive value of 87.5% for incomplete resection. After a mean follow-up of 40.6 ± 32.4 months (mean ± SD), recurrence was 2.7% after GTR (1 patient with atypical histology), 44.4% after NTR, and 80% after STR (p < 0.0001). Vision was stable or improved in 93.5% and improved in 67.4% of patients with a preoperative deficit. There were 5 (9.8%) postoperative CSF leaks, of which 4 were managed with lumbar drains and 1 required a reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS

The EEA is a safe and effective approach to SSMs, with favorable visual outcomes in well-selected cases. The combination of postoperative MRI-based EOR with direct endoscopic inspection can be used in lieu of Simpson grade to predict recurrence. GTR dramatically reduces recurrence and can be achieved regardless of tumor size, proximity or encasement of the anterior cerebral artery, or medial optic canal invasion. Risk factors for incomplete resection include prior surgery, tumor lateral to the optic nerve, and complete ICA encasement.