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Jamie J. Van Gompel, Puya Alikhani, Mark H. Tabor, Harry R. van Loveren, Sivero Agazzi, Sebastien Froelich, and A. Samy Youssef

Object

Historically, surgery to the petrous apex has been addressed via craniotomy and open microscopic anterior petrosectomy (OAP). However, with the popularization of endoscopic approaches, the petrous apex can further be approached endonasally by way of an endoscopic endonasal anterior petrosectomy (EAP). Endonasal anterior petrosectomy is a relatively new procedure and has not been compared anatomically with OAP. The authors hypothesized that the EAP and OAP techniques approach different portions of the petrous apex and therefore may have different applications.

Methods

Four cadaveric heads were used. An OAP was performed on one side and an EAP was performed on the contralateral side; the limits of bony resection were defined. The extent of bony resection was then evaluated using predissection and postdissection thin-slice CT scans. The comparative resection was then reconstructed using 3D modeling on Brainlab workstations.

Results

The average resection volumes for EAP and OAP were 0.297 cm3 and 0.649 cm3, respectively, representing a comparative percentage of 46% (EAP/OAP). An EAP and OAP achieved resection of 29% and 64% of the total petrous apex volume, respectively. Indeed, EAP addressed the inferior portion of the petrous apex located adjacent to the petroclival suture more completely than OAP, where 45% of the bone overlying the petroclival suture (petroclival angle to the jugular foramen) was resected with the EAP, while 0% was resected with the OAP.

Conclusions

In anatomically normal cadavers, OAP achieved nearly a 50% larger volumetric resection than EAP. Furthermore, while OAP appears to completely address the superior portion of the petrous apex, EAP appears to have a niche in approaches to lesions in the inferior petrous apex. Given these results, the authors propose that OAP be redefined as the “superior anterior petrosectomy,” while EAP be referred to as the “inferior anterior petrosectomy,” which more clearly defines the role of each approach in anterior petrosectomy.

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Kenichi Oyama, Kentaro Watanabe, Shunya Hanakita, Pierre-Olivier Champagne, Thibault Passeri, Eduard H. Voormolen, Anne Laure Bernat, Nicolas Penet, Takanori Fukushima, and Sébastien Froelich

OBJECTIVE

The anteromedial triangle (AMT) is the triangle formed by the ophthalmic (V1) and maxillary (V2) nerves. Opening of this bony space offers a limited access to the sphenoid sinus (SphS). This study aims to demonstrate the utility of the orbitopterygopalatine corridor (OPC), obtained by enlarging the AMT and transposing the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) and V2, as an entrance to the SphS, maxillary sinus (MaxS), and nasal cavity.

METHODS

Five formalin-injected cadaveric specimens were used for this study (10 approaches). A classic pterional approach was performed. An OPC was created through the inferior orbital fissure, between the orbit and the PPF, by transposing the PPF inferiorly. The extent of the OPC was measured using neuronavigation and manual measurements. Two illustrative cases using the OPC to access skull base tumors are presented in the body of the article.

RESULTS

Via the OPC, the SphS, MaxS, ethmoid sinus (EthS), and nasal cavity could be accessed. The use of endoscopic assistance through the OPC achieved better visualization of the EthS, SphS, MaxS, clivus, and nasal cavity. A significant gain in the area of exposure could be achieved using the OPC compared to the AMT (22.4 mm2 vs 504.1 mm2).

CONCLUSIONS

Opening of the AMT and transposition of V2 and the contents of the PPF creates the OPC, a potentially useful deep keyhole to access the paranasal sinuses and clival region through a middle fossa approach. It is a valuable alternative approach to reach deep-seated skull base lesions infiltrating the cavernous sinus and middle cranial fossa and extending into the paranasal sinus.

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Arianna Fava, Paolo di Russo, Valentina Tardivo, Thibault Passeri, Breno Câmara, Nicolas Penet, Rosaria Abbritti, Lorenzo Giammattei, Hamid Mammar, Anne Laure Bernat, Emmanuel Mandonnet, and Sébastien Froelich

OBJECTIVE

Craniocervical junction (CCJ) chordomas are a neurosurgical challenge because of their deep localization, lateral extension, bone destruction, and tight relationship with the vertebral artery and lower cranial nerves. In this study, the authors present their surgical experience with the endoscope-assisted far-lateral transcondylar approach (EA-FLTA) for the treatment of CCJ chordomas, highlighting the advantages of this corridor and the integration of the endoscope to reach the anterior aspect and contralateral side of the CCJ and the possibility of performing occipitocervical fusion (OCF) during the same stage of surgery.

METHODS

Nine consecutive cases of CCJ chordomas treated with the EA-FLTA between 2013 and 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative characteristics, surgical technique, postoperative results, and clinical outcome were analyzed. A cadaveric dissection was also performed to clarify the anatomical landmarks.

RESULTS

The male/female ratio was 1.25, and the median age was 36 years (range 14–53 years). In 6 patients (66.7%), the lesion showed a bilateral extension, and 7 patients (77.8%) had an intradural extension. The vertebral artery was encased in 5 patients. Gross-total resection was achieved in 5 patients (55.6%), near-total resection in 3 (33.3%), and subtotal resection 1 (11.1%). In 5 cases, the OCF was performed in the same stage after tumor removal. Neither approach-related complications nor complications related to tumor resection occurred. During follow-up (median 18 months, range 5–48 months), 1 patient, who had already undergone treatment and radiotherapy at another institution and had an aggressive tumor (Ki-67 index of 20%), showed tumor recurrence at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The EA-FLTA provides a safe and effective corridor to resect extensive and complex CCJ chordomas, allowing the surgeon to reach the anterior, lateral, and posterior portions of the tumor, and to treat CCJ instability in a single stage.

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Philip V. Theodosopoulos, James Leach, Robert G. Kerr, Lee A. Zimmer, Amanda M. Denny, Bharat Guthikonda, Sebastien Froelich, and John M. Tew Jr.

Object

Endoscopic approaches to pituitary tumors have become an effective alternative to traditional microscopic transsphenoidal approaches. Despite a proven potential to decrease unexpected residual tumor, intraoperative MR (iMR) imaging is infrequently used even in the few operating environments in which such technology is available. Its use is prohibitive because of its cost, increased complexity, and longer operative times. The authors assessed the potential of intrasellar endoscopy to replace the need for iMR imaging without sacrificing the maximum extent of resection.

Methods

In this retrospective study, 27 consecutive patients underwent fully endoscopic resection of pituitary macroadenomas. Intrasellar endoscopy was used to determine the presence of residual tumor within the sella turcica and tumor cavity. Intraoperative MR imaging was used to identify rates of unexpected residual tumor and the need for further tumor resection.

Results

Intraoperative estimates of the extent of tumor resection were correct in 23 patients (85%). Of 4 patients with unacceptable tumor residuals, 3 underwent further tumor resection. After iMR imaging, the rate of successful completion of the planned extent of resection increased to 26 patients (96%). Rates of both endocrinopathy reversal and postoperative complications were consistent with previously published results for microscopic and endoscopic resection techniques.

Conclusions

The findings in this study provided quantitative evidence that intrasellar endoscopy has significant promise for maximizing the extent of tumor resection and is a useful adjunct to surgical approaches to pituitary tumors, particularly when iMR imaging is unavailable. A larger prospective study on the extent of resection following endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery would strengthen these findings.