Edward D. McCoul, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
Endoscopic skull base surgery (ESBS) is a minimal-access technique that provides an alternative to traditional approaches. Patient-reported outcomes are becoming increasingly important in measuring the success of surgical interventions. Endoscopic skull base surgery may lead to improvements in quality of life (QOL) since natural orifices are used to reach the pathology; however, sinonasal QOL may be negatively affected. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of ESBS on both site-specific QOL, using the Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire (ASBQ), and sinonasal-related QOL, using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22).
Consecutive patients from a tertiary referral center who were undergoing ESBS were prospectively enrolled in this study. All patients completed the ASBQ and SNOT-22 preoperatively as well as at regular intervals after ESBS.
Sixty-six patients were included in the study, and 57.6% of them had pituitary adenoma. There was no significant decline or improvement in the ASBQ-measured QOL at 3 and 6 weeks after ESBS, but there were significant improvements at 12 weeks and 6 months postoperatively (p < 0.05). Improvements were noted in all but one ASBQ subdomain at 12 weeks and 6 months postsurgery (p < 0.05). Preoperative QOL was significantly worse in patients who had undergone revision surgery and significantly improved postoperatively in patients who underwent gross-total resection (p < 0.05). Scores on the SNOT-22 worsened at 3 weeks postoperatively and returned to baseline thereafter. The presence of a nasoseptal flap or a graft-donor site did not contribute to a decreased QOL.
Endoscopic skull base surgery is associated with an improvement in postoperative site-specific QOL as compared with the preoperative QOL. Short-term improvements are greater if gross-total resection is achieved. Sinonasal QOL transiently declines and then returns to preoperative baseline levels. Endoscopic skull base surgery is a valuable tool in the neurosurgical management of anterior skull base pathology, leading to improvements in site-specific QOL.
Tomasz A. Dziedzic, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
Although the medial and inferior orbital apex are considered safely accessible using the endonasal endoscopic approach, the lateral apex has been considered unsafe to access since the optic nerve lies between the surgeon and the pathology. The authors present the case of a 4-year-old girl with recurrent rhabdomyosarcoma attached to the lateral rectus muscle located lateral and inferior to the optic nerve in the orbital apex. The tumor was totally resected through an endoscopic endonasal transmaxillary transpterygoidal approach using a 45° endoscope. A gross-total resection was achieved, and the patient’s vision was unchanged. This procedure is a safe, minimal-access alternative to open procedures in selected cases and provides evidence that increases the applicability of the endonasal endoscopic approach to reach the lateral compartment of the orbital apex.
Ilya Laufer, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
The extended transsphenoidal approach is a less invasive method for removing purely suprasellar lesions compared with traditional transcranial approaches. Most advocates have used a sublabial incision and a microscope and have reported a significant risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage. The authors report on a series of purely endoscopic endonasal surgeries for resection of suprasellar supradiaphragmatic lesions above a normal-sized sella turcica with a low risk of CSF leakage.
A purely endoscopic endonasal approach was used to remove suprasellar lesions in a series of 10 patients. Five lesions were prechiasmal (three tuberculum sellae and two planum sphenoidale meningiomas) and five were post-chiasmal (four craniopharyngiomas and one Rathke cleft cyst). The floor of the planum sphenoidale and the sella turcica was reconstructed using a multilayer closure with autologous and synthetic materials. Spinal drainage was performed in only five cases. Complete resection of the lesions was achieved in all but one patient. The pituitary stalk was preserved in all but one patient, whose stalk was invaded by a craniopharyngioma and who had preoperative diabetes insipidus (DI). Vision improved postoperatively in all patients with preoperative impairment. Six patients had temporary DI; in five, the DI became permanent. Four patients with craniopharyngiomas required cortisone and thyroid replacement. After a mean follow up of 10 months, there was only one transient CSF leak when a lumbar drain was clamped prematurely on postoperative Day 5.
A purely endoscopic endonasal approach to suprasellar supradiaphragmatic lesions is a feasible minimally invasive alternative to craniotomy. With a multilayer closure, the risk of CSF leakage is low and lumbar drainage can be avoided. A larger series will be required to validate this approach.
Case report and review of the literature
Justin F. Fraser, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
✓The authors present the case of a 71-year-old man who presented with neck pain, a history of gout, and a mass in the dens. Results of transoral endoscopic biopsy sampling demonstrated tophaceous gout. The patient was treated medically and the pain resolved. Tophaceous gout isolated in the dens is extremely rare and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of masses in this region. With the aid of transoral or transnasal endoscopic biopsy sampling, the diagnosis can be reached in a minimally invasive manner.
JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article
Theodore H. Schwartz, Peter F. Morgenstern, and Vijay K. Anand
Endoscopic skull base surgery (ESBS) is a relatively recent addition to the neurosurgical armamentarium. As with many new approaches, there has been significant controversy regarding its value compared with more traditional approaches to ventral skull base pathology. Although early enthusiasm for new approaches that appear less invasive is usually high, these new techniques require rigorous study to ensure that widespread implementation is in the best interest of patients.
The authors compared surgical results for ESBS with transcranial surgery (TCS) for several different pathologies over two different time periods (prior to 2012 and 2012–2017) to see how results have evolved over time. Pathologies examined were craniopharyngioma, anterior skull base meningioma, esthesioneuroblastoma, chordoma, and chondrosarcoma.
ESBS offers clear advantages over TCS for most craniopharyngiomas and chordomas. For well-selected cases of planum sphenoidale and tuberculum sellae meningiomas, ESBS has similar rates of resection with higher rates of visual improvement, and more recent results with lower CSF leaks make the complication rates similar between the two approaches. TCS offers a higher rate of resection with fewer complications for olfactory groove meningiomas. ESBS is preferred for lower-grade esthesioneuroblastomas, but higher-grade tumors often still require a craniofacial approach. There are few data on chondrosarcomas, but early results show that ESBS appears to offer clear advantages for minimizing morbidity with similar rates of resection, as long as surgeons are familiar with more complex inferolateral approaches.
ESBS is maturing into a well-established approach that is clearly in the patients’ best interest when applied by experienced surgeons for appropriate pathology. Ongoing critical reevaluation of outcomes is essential for ensuring optimal results.
Osaama H. Khan, M.Sc., Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
This paper describes a consecutive series of skull base meningiomas resected using an endoscopic endonasal approach through various corridors at a single institution over 7 years. The impact of case selection and experience, the presence of a cortical cuff between the tumor and surrounding vessels, and brain edema on morbidity and rates of gross-total resection (GTR) were examined.
A retrospective review of a series of 46 skull base meningiomas from a prospective database was conducted. The series of cases were divided by location: olfactory groove (n = 15), tuberculum and planum (n = 20), sellar/cavernous (n = 9) and petroclival (n = 2). Gross-total resection was never intended in the sellar/cavernous tumors, which generally invaded the cavernous sinus. Clinical charts, volumetric imaging, and pathology were reviewed to assess the extent of resection and complications. Cases were divided based on a time point in which surgical technique and case selection improved into Group 1 (surgery prior to June 2008; n = 21) and Group 2 (surgery after June 2008; n = 25) and into those with and without a cortical cuff and with and without brain edema.
Improved case selection had the greatest impact on extent of resection. For the entire cohort, rates of GTR went from 38% to 76% (p = 0.02), and for cases in which GTR was the intent, the rates went from 63% to 84% (not significant), which was mostly driven by the planum and tuberculum meningiomas, which went from 75% to 91.7 % (nonsignificant difference). The presence of a cortical cuff and brain edema had no impact on outcomes. There were 3 CSF leaks (6.5%) but all were in Group 1. Hence, CSF leak improved from 14.2% to 0% with surgical experience. Lessons learned for optimal case selection are discussed.
Surgical outcome for endonasal endoscopic resection of skull base meningiomas depends mostly on careful case selection and surgical experience. Imaging criteria such as the presence of a cortical cuff or brain edema are less important.
Tony Goldschlager, Roger Härtl, Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
The gold-standard surgical approach to the odontoid is via the transoral route. This approach necessitates opening of the oropharynx and is associated with risks of infection, and swallowing and breathing complications. The endoscopic endonasal approach has the potential to reduce these complications as the oral cavity is avoided. There are fewer than 25 such cases reported to date. The authors present a consecutive, single-institution series of 9 patients who underwent the endonasal endoscopic approach to the odontoid.
The charts of 9 patients who underwent endonasal endoscopic surgery to the odontoid between January 2005 and August 2013 were reviewed. The clinical presentation, radiographic findings, surgical management, complications, and outcome, particularly with respect to time to extubation and feeding, were analyzed. Radiographic measurements of the distance between the back of the odontoid and the front of the cervicomedullary junction (CMJ) were calculated, as well as the location of any residual bone fragments.
There were 7 adult and 2 pediatric patients in this series. The mean age of the adults was 54.8 years; the pediatric patients were 7 and 14 years. There were 5 females and 4 males. The mean follow-up was 42.9 months. Symptoms were resolved or improved in all but 1 patient, who had concurrent polyneuropathy. The distance between the odontoid and CMJ increased by 2.34 ± 0.43 mm (p = 0.03). A small, clinically insignificant fragment remained after surgery, always on the left side, in 57% of patients. Mean times to extubation and oral feeding were on postoperative Days 0.3 and 1, respectively. There was one posterior cervical wound infection; there were 2 cases of epistaxis requiring repacking of the nose and no instances of breathing or swallowing complications or velopharyngeal insufficiency.
This series of 9 cases of endonasal endoscopic odontoidectomy highlights the advantages of the approach in permitting early extubation and early feeding and minimizing complications compared with transoral surgery. Special attention must be given to bone on the left side of the odontoid if the surgeon is standing on the right side.
Justin F. Fraser, Gurston G. Nyquist, Nicholas Moore, Vijay K. Anand, and Theodore H. Schwartz
Transcranial approaches to clival chordomas provide a circuitous route to the site of origin of the tumor often involving extensive bone drilling and brain retraction, which places critical neurovascular structures between the surgeon and pathology. For certain chordomas, the endonasal endoscopic transclival approach is a novel minimal access, but it is an equally aggressive alternative providing the most direct route to the tumor epicenter.
The authors present a consecutive series of patients undergoing endonasal endoscopic resection of clival chordomas. Extent of resection was determined by postoperative volumetric MR imaging and divided into > 95% and < 95%.
Seven patients underwent 10 operations. Preoperative cranial neuropathies were present in 4. The mean patient age was 52.0 years. The mean tumor volume was 34.9 cm3. Intraoperative lumbar drainage was used in 1 patient, and the tumors extended intradurally in 3. One patient underwent 2 intentionally palliative procedures for subtotal debulking. Greater than 95% resection was achieved in 7 of 8 operations in which radical resection was the goal (87%). All tumors with volumes < 50 cm3 had > 95% resection (p = 0.05). The overall mean follow-up was 18.0 months. Cranial neuropathies resolved in all 3 patients with cranial nerve VI palsies. One patient with recurrent nasopharyngeal chordoma died of disease progression; another experienced 2 recurrences before receiving radiation therapy. All surviving patients remain progression free. There were no intraoperative complications; however, 1 patient developed a pulmonary embolus postoperatively. There were no postoperative CSF leaks.
The endonasal endoscopic transclival approach represents a less invasive and more direct approach than a transcranial approach to treat certain moderate-sized midline skull base chordomas. Longer follow-up is necessary to determine comparability to transcranial approaches for long-term control. Large tumors with significant extension lateral to the carotid artery may not be suitable for this approach.
Abtin Tabaee, Vijay K. Anand, Paolo Cappabianca, Aldo Stamm, Felice Esposito, and Theodore H. Schwartz
Spontaneous meningoencephaloceles of the lateral sphenoid sinus are rare lesions that are hypothesized to result from persistence of the lateral craniopharyngeal canal. Prior reports of the management of this lesion have been limited by its relative rarity. The objective of this paper is to report the theoretical etiology, surgical technique, and outcomes in patients undergoing endoscopic repair of spontaneous meningoencephalocele of the sphenoid sinus.
The authors conducted a retrospective review of a multiinstitutional series of 13 cases involving patients who underwent endoscopic repair of spontaneous meningoencephalocele of the lateral sphenoid sinus. The surgical technique and pathophysiological considerations are discussed.
The clinical manifestations included CSF rhinorrhea (85%), chronic headache (77%), and a history of meningitis (15%). The endoscopic approaches to the lateral sphenoid sinus were transnasal (39%), transpterygoid (23%), and transethmoid (39%). Two patients (8%) had postoperative CSF leaks, one of which closed spontaneously and one of which required revision endoscopic closure. All patients were free of leak at most recent follow-up. One patient experienced postoperative meningitis in the early postoperative period.
Endoscopic endonasal closure is an effective modality in the treatment of spontaneous meningoencephaloceles of the lateral sphenoid sinus. If the sphenoid sinus has extensive lateral pneumatization, adequate exposure may require a transpterygoid approach.