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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.