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Ossama Al-Mefty

✓ Anterior clinoidal meningiomas are frequently grouped with suprasellar or sphenoid ridge meningiomas, masking their notorious association with a high mortality and morbidity rate, failure of total removal, and recurrence. To avoid injury to encased cerebral vessels, most surgeons are content with subtotal removal. Without total removal, however, recurrence is expected. Recent advances in cranial-base exposure and cavernous sinus surgery have facilitated radical total removal.

The author reports 24 cases operated on with vigorous attempts at total removal of the tumor with involved dura and bone. This experience has distinguished three groups (I, II, and III) which influence surgical difficulties, the success of total removal, and outcome. These subgroups relate to the presence of interfacing arachnoid membranes between the tumor and cerebral vessels. The presence or absence of arachnoid membranes depends on the origin of the tumor and its relation to the naked segment of carotid artery lying outside the carotid cistern. Total removal was impossible in the three patients in Group I, with postoperative death occurring in one patient and hemiplegia in another. Total removal was achieved in 18 of the 19 patients in Group II, with one death from pulmonary embolism. In the two patients in Group III, total removal without complications was easily achieved.

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Ossama Al-Mefty

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Omar Arnaout and Ossama Al-Mefty

The authors present the case of a 56-year-old patient who presented with a large petroclival meningioma and clinical symptoms of brainstem compression and hydrocephalus. The authors describe a two-stage combined petrosal approach for complete resection of the tumor. The nuances of the approach and microsurgical technique are discussed, as well as the radiographic and clinical outcomes.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/T90vUIPKQsA.

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Ossama Al-Mefty

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Jason A. Heth and Ossama Al-Mefty

Cavernous sinus meningiomas were once considered unresectable. The development of microsurgical and skull base techniques as well as advances in anesthesia and neuroradiology have allowed safe and systematic treatment of these lesions. Proper evaluation and patient counseling are required. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and surgical approaches are crucial to success, as is knowledge of the possible adverse outcomes including cranial neuropathy and stroke. The authors discuss these issues in the treatment of cavernous sinus meningiomas.

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Ossama Al-Mefty and Aramis Teixeira

Object. Tumors of the glomus jugulare are benign, slow-growing paragangliomas. Their natural history, surgical treatment, and outcome have been well addressed in the recent literature; however, there remains a subgroup of complex tumors—multiple, giant, malignant, neuropeptide-secreting lesions, and those treated previously by an intervention with an adverse outcome—that is high risk, presents surgical challenges, and is associated with treatment controversy. In this article the authors report on a series of patients with complex glomus jugulare tumors and focus on treatment decisions, avoidance of complications, surgical refinements, and patient outcomes.

Methods. In this retrospective study, the patient population was composed of 11 male and 32 female patients (mean age 47 years) with complex tumors of the glomus jugulare who were treated by the senior author within the past 20 years. These include 38 patients with giant tumors, 11 with multiple paragangliomas (seven bilateral and four ipsilateral), two with tumors that hypersecreted catecholamine, and one with a malignant tumor. Six patients had associated lesions: one dural arteriovenous malformation, one carotid artery (CA) aneurysm, two adrenal tumors, and two other cranial tumors.

All but one patient presented with neurological deficits. Cranial nerve deficits, particularly those associated with the lower cranial nerves, were the prominent feature. Twenty-eight patients underwent resection in an attempt at total removal, and gross-total resection was achieved in 24 patients. Particularly challenging were cases in which the patient had undergone prior embolization or CA occlusion, after which new feeding vessels from the internal CA and vertebrobasilar artery circulation developed.

The surgical technique was tailored to each patient and each tumor. It was modified to preserve facial nerve function, particularly in patients with bilateral tumors. Intrabulbar dissection was performed to increase the likelihood that the lower cranial nerves would be preserved. Each tumor was isolated to improve its resectability and prevent blood loss. No operative mortality occurred. In one patient hemiplegia developed postoperatively due to CA thrombosis, but the patient recovered after an endovascular injection of urokinase. In four patients a cerebrospinal fluid leak was treated through spinal drainage, and in five patients infection developed in the external ear canal. Two of these infections progressed to osteomyelitis of the temporal bone. There were two recurrences, one in a patient with a malignant tumor who eventually died of the disease.

Conclusions. Despite the challenges encountered in treating complex glomus jugulare tumors, resection is indicated and successful. Multiple tumors mandate a treatment plan that addresses the risk of bilateral cranial nerve deficits. The intrabulbar dissection technique can be used with any tumor, as long as the tumor itself has not penetrated the wall of the jugular bulb or infiltrated the cranial nerves. Tumors that hypersecrete catecholamine require perioperative management and malignant tumors carry a poor prognosis.

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Kenan I. Arnautović and Ossama Al-Mefty

Object. Primary jugular fossa meningomas (JFMs) are one of the rarest subgroups of meningioma, with fewer than 40 cases reported in the literature. The authors retrospectively analyzed the results of surgical treatment in their series of patients, including clinical, pathological, and complication features. The surgical approach was mandated by the pathological anatomy of the tumor as well as by the anatomy of the individual patient.

Methods. During a 6.5-year period, the authors performed nine surgeries in eight patients (seven women [88%] and one man [12%]) with JFMs. Six lesions occurred on the right side and two on the left. The most common presenting symptoms were altered hearing in five patients (62%), swallowing difficulties in four patients (50%), and a deficit of the 11th cranial nerve in three patients (38%); a combination of two or more signs or symptoms was common. The surgical approach was tailored to the local anatomy (tumor—neurovascular relationships) found in each patient; three different routes were used. Radical tumor removal was achieved in all patients; one tumor recurrence occurred after 20 months in a patient in whom the tumor had displayed atypical histological features. This woman underwent a second operation. The mean length of hospital stay was 1 week. The mean and the median follow-up period were 45 and 40 months, respectively. The most common complications were transient lower cranial nerve deficits, which resolved or were compensated for in all patients within 1 month.

Conclusions. With a careful, extensive preoperative evaluation and appropriate tailoring of the operative approach, JFMs can be radically resected with the expectation of good outcome.

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Kenan I. Arnautoviæ and Ossama Al-Mefty

Object

Chordomas have a high propensity for local recurrence and progression, as well as for systemic and cerebrospinal fluid metastasis. The authors identified and analyzed a series of patients with chordomas, focusing on an underrecognized entity—surgical seeding.

Methods

In a retrospective analysis of 82 patients with chordomas treated over a 10-year period (1990–2000) the authors found six patients (7.3%) in whom surgical seeding had occurred. In five (83%) of these patients the primary tumor was located at the clivus. In one (17%) the tumor was present in the cervical region. There were two male (33%) and four female patients (67%) with a mean age of 34 years. The seeding sites, which were separate from the primary tumor, were located along the operative route or in the abdomen where fat was removed. The seeding was diagnosed 5 to 15 months after surgery (mean 12 months). One seeding site was present in five patients and 17 seeding sites were present in one patient. The involved tissues included mucosa, bone, dura, muscle, and fat. After resection, all seedings were documented histologically.

Conclusions

Seeding of chordomas occurs along the operative route and at distant locations where fat is harvested. Early diagnosis and aggressive surgical treatment are recommended. Based on the results of this study, it is suggested that surgical techniques, postoperative irradiation, the neuroradiological follow-up protocol, and even research on chordomas should be reevaluated.

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Ossama Al-Mefty and Vinod K. Anand

✓ A modification of the preauricular skull-base approach is described. After sectioning and downward displacement of the zygomatic arch, the coronoid process of the mandible is dissected and sectioned at its base. The temporal muscle, with its coronoid insertion, is then retracted upward. This approach provides direct and unobstructed access to the temporal and infratemporal fossae. Adequate vascularity of the temporal muscle is maintained. The exposure encompasses the internal carotid artery in the neck for vascular control. Extensive reconstruction is eliminated. The described technique was used in seven patients with lesions of the skull base. There was no operative mortality, and morbidity consisted of temporary restriction of mandibular opening in two patients.