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  • Author or Editor: Ricardo L. Carrau x
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Hae-Dong Jho and Ricardo L. Carrau

✓ An endoscope was used in transsphenoidal surgery and eventually replaced the operating microscope as the tool for visualization. This study focuses on 50 patients (28 females and 22 males) with a median age of 38 years (range 14–88 years). Initially, four patients underwent operation via a sublabial—transseptal approach using a rigid endoscope in conjunction with an operating microscope. The 48 subsequent operations were performed through a nostril using only rigid endoscopes. Forty-four patients had pituitary adenomas and six had various other lesions. Thirteen patients had microadenomas, 16 had intrasellar macroadenomas, nine had macroadenomas with suprasellar extension, and six had invasive macroadenomas involving the cavernous sinus. Seven patients had recurrent pituitary adenomas and 25 had hormonesecreting adenomas (eight patients with Cushing's disease and 17 patients with prolactinomas). Among the eight patients with Cushing's disease, seven had resolution of hypercortisolism clinically and chemically. Of the 17 patients with prolactinomas, 10 improved clinically with normal serum prolactin levels, four improved clinically with elevated serum prolactin levels, and three had residual tumors in the cavernous sinus. Among the 19 patients with nonsecreting adenomas, 16 underwent total resection and three subtotal resection leaving residual tumor in the cavernous sinus. Postoperatively, all patients who had undergone endonasal endoscopic surgery had unobstructed nasal airways with minimal discomfort. More than half of the patients required only an overnight hospitalization.

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Hae-Dong Jho and Ricardo L. Carrau

An endoscope was used in transsphenoidal surgery and eventually replaced the operating microscope as a tool for visualization. Initially four patients underwent operation via a sublabial transseptal approach using a rigid endoscope in conjunction with an operating microscope. The 48 subsequent operations were performed through a nostril using only rigid endoscopes. Forty-four patients had pituitary adenomas and six had various other lesions. Thirteen patients had microadenomas, 16 had intrasellar macroadenomas, nine had macroadenomas with suprasellar extension, and six had invasive macroadenomas involving the cavernous sinus. Among eight patients with Cushing's disease, seven were cured. Of 17 patients with prolactinomas, 10 were cured clinically and chemically. Among 19 patients with nonsecreting adenomas, 16 underwent total resection and three subtotal resection, with residual tumor in the cavernous sinus. Postoperatively all patients who had undergone endonasal endoscopic surgery had unobstructed nasal airways with minimal discomfort. More than half of the patients required only an overnight hospitalization.

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Hae-Dong Jho, Ricardo L. Carrau, Mark L. McLaughlin and Salvador C. Somaza

The authors report their encouraging experience using an endoscopic technique for transsphenoidal surgery in a patient with a large chordoma in the posterior fossa. The patient was a 40-year-old man with a 2-year history of progressive ataxia, a memory disorder, and emotional instability. A magnetic resonance (MR) image of the brain revealed a midline posterior fossa mass measuring 4 cm in diameter located between the clivus and the brainstem. The basilar artery and its bifurcation were encased by the tumor, which also distorted the brainstem. The patient had been treated at another hospital for obstructive hydrocephalus with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt and he received fractionated external-beam radiation treatment, although no histological diagnosis was ever made. The authors achieved a subtotal resection of the tumor through the patient's nostril using an endoscopic transsphenoidal technique. The portion of the tumor located behind the basilar artery was not resected to protect the brainstem perforating arteries. The patient showed dramatic improvement of his symptoms postoperatively. Residual tumor located behind the basilar artery was treated by stereotactic gamma knife surgery. This is the first reported case of a large posterior fossa chordoma treated by an endoscopic transsphenoidal technique.

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Ricky Madhok, Daniel M. Prevedello, Paul Gardner, Ricardo L. Carrau, Carl H. Snyderman and Amin B. Kassam

Object

Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions that can be diagnosed as an incidental finding associated with headaches, pituitary dysfunction, or vision deterioration. Typically, they occur in a sellar or suprasellar location. The aim of this study was to review the clinical presentation and outcomes associated with endoscopic endonasal resection of these lesions.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed a series of 35 patients with a diagnosis of RCC after endoscopic endonasal resection at the University of Pittsburgh between January 1998 and July 2008.

Results

All 35 patients underwent a purely endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA). The average patient age was 34 years (range 12–67 years), and the average follow-up was 19 months (range 1–60 months). Clinical follow-up data were available for 32 patients, and radiographic follow-up data were accessible for 33 patients. All of the patients underwent complete removal of the cyst contents, and according to radiography studies 2 patients had a recurrence, neither of which required reoperation. The mean cyst volume was 1052.7 mm3 (range 114–6044 mm3). Headache was a presenting symptom in 26 (81.2%) of 32 patients, with 25 (96.1%) of 26 having postoperative improvement in their headaches. Fifteen (57.7%) of the 26 patients had complete pain resolution, and 10 (38.5%) had a > 50% reduction in their pain scores. Six (18.8%) of 32 patients initially presented with pituitary dysfunction, although 2 (33.3%) had postoperative improvement. Three (9.4%) of 32 patients had temporary pituitary dysfunction postoperatively, although there was no permanent pituitary dysfunction. Neither were there any intraoperative complications, postoperative CSF leaks, or new neurological deficits. The average hospital stay was 1.8 days (range 1–5 days).

Conclusions

The EEA is a safe and effective approach in the treatment of RCCs. None of the patients in this study experienced any worsening of their preoperative symptoms or pituitary function, and 96% of the patients who had presented with headache experienced complete or significant pain relief following treatment.

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Amin B. Kassam, Paul A. Gardner, Arlan Mintz, Carl H. Snyderman, Ricardo L. Carrau and Michael Horowitz

✓Paraclinoidal aneurysms, especially superior hypophyseal artery (SHA) aneurysms (with medial projection), can be challenging to access via a pterional craniotomy and damage to the optic nerve can occur during surgery. The authors have previously reported on endonasal clipping and aneurysmorrhaphy of a vertebral artery aneurysm following proximal and distal protection of the aneurysm using partial coil embolization. To the best of the authors' knowledge no unprotected aneurysm has been clipped using an endonasal approach.

The 56-year-old woman in this report was found to have two unruptured aneurysms: an anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm and an SHA aneurysm. An endoscopic endonasal, transplanar–transsellar approach was used to successfully clip the SHA aneurysm. Proximal and distal control was obtained endonasally prior to successful clip occlusion of the aneurysm. The ACoA aneurysm was clipped via a pterional craniotomy during the same anesthetic session. This report shows that it is possible to successfully clip a medially projecting, paraclinoidal aneurysm using an endonasal approach. Such cases must be chosen with extreme caution and only performed by surgeons with significant experience with both endoscopic endonasal approaches and neurovascular surgery.

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Jun Muto, Daniel M. Prevedello and Ricardo L. Carrau

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Marc R. Mayberg

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Arlan Mintz, Paul Gardner and Ricardo L. Carrau

Object

Transsphenoidal approaches have been used for a century for the resection of pituitary and other sellar tumors. More recently, the standard endonasal approach has been expanded to provide access to other, parasellar lesions. With the addition of the endoscope, this expansion carries significant potential for the resection of skull base lesions.

Methods

The anatomical landmarks and surgical techniques used in expanded (extended) endoscopic approaches to the rostral, anterior skull base are reviewed and presented, accompanied by case illustrations of each segment (or module) of approach. The rostral half of the anterior skull base is divided into modules of approach: sellar/parasellar, transplanum/transtuberculum, and transcribriform. Case illustrations of successful resections of lesions with each module are presented and discussed.

Conclusions

Endoscopic, expanded endonasal approaches to rostral anterior skull base lesions are feasible and hold great potential for decreased morbidity. The effectiveness and appropriate use of these techniques must be evaluated by close examination of outcomes as case series expand.

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Arlan Mintz, Paul Gardner and Ricardo L. Carrau

Object

Transsphenoidal approaches have been used for a century for the resection of pituitary and other sellar tumors. Recently, however, the standard endonasal approach has been expanded to provide access to other parasellar lesions. With the addition of the endoscope, this expansion has significant potential for the resection of skull base lesions.

Methods

The anatomical landmarks and surgical techniques used in expanded (extended) endoscopic approaches to the clivus and cervicomedullary junction are reviewed and presented, accompanied by case illustrations of each segment (or module) of approach.

The caudal portion of the midline anterior skull base and the cervicomedullary junction is divided into modules of approach: the middle third of the clivus, its lower third, and the cervicomedullary junction. Case illustrations of successful resections of lesions via each module of the approach are presented and discussed.

Conclusions

Endoscopic expanded endonasal approaches to caudally located midline anterior skull base and cervicomedullary lesions are feasible and hold great potential for decreased morbidity. The effectiveness and appropriate use of these techniques must be evaluated by close examination of outcomes as case series expand.

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Amin Kassam, Carl H. Snyderman, Ricardo L. Carrau, Paul Gardner and Arlan Mintz

The increasing popularity of minimally invasive neurosurgery has led to the development of transnasal expanded approaches for the treatment of skull base lesions. One of the greatest challenges in safely accomplishing resection of tumors, particularly intradural lesions, is effective hemostasis. Over the past 7 years the authors have progressively developed an organized approach to address this challenge. This has required the development of new instrumentation as well as variations on standard techniques. In this report they present the technique that has evolved at their institution for endoneurosurgical hemostasis.