Endoscopic endonasal compared with microscopic transsphenoidal and open transcranial resection of craniopharyngiomas

Ricardo J. Komotar, Robert M. Starke, Daniel M.S. Raper, Vijay K. Anand, Theodore H. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Craniopharyngiomas have traditionally represented a challenge for open transcranial or transsphenoidal microscopic neurosurgery because of their anatomical location and proximity to vital neurovascular structures. The extended endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach has been more recently developed as a potentially surgically aggressive, yet minimal access, alternative. To gain a more comprehensive assessment of the benefits and limitations of the various approaches to resection of craniopharyngiomas, we performed a systematic review of the available published reports after endoscope-assisted endonasal approaches and compared their results with transsphenoidal purely microscope-based or transcranial microscope-based techniques. Methods: We performed a MEDLINE search of the modern literature (1995-2010) to identify open and endoscopic surgical series for pediatric and adult craniopharyngiomas. Comparisons were made for patient and tumor characteristics as well as extent of resection, morbidity, and visual outcome. Statistical analyses of categorical variables were undertaken by the use of χ 2 and Fisher exact tests with post-hoc Bonferroni analysis to compare endoscopic, microsurgical transsphenoidal, and transcranial approaches. Results: Eighty eight studies, involving 3470 patients, were included. The endoscopic cohort had a significantly greater rate of gross total resection (66.9% vs. 48.3%; P < 0.003) and improved visual outcome (56.2% vs. 33.1%; P < 0.003) compared with the open cohort. The transsphenoidal cohort had similar outcomes to the endoscopic group. The rate of cerebrospinal fluid leakage was greater in the endoscopic (18.4%) and transsphenoidal (9.0%) than in the transcranial group (2.6%; P < 0.003), but the transcranial group had a greater rate of seizure (8.5%), which did not occur in the endonasal or transsphenoidal groups (P < 0.003). Conclusions: The endoscopic endonasal approach is a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of certain craniopharyngiomas. Larger lesions with more lateral extension may be more suitable for an open approach, and further follow-up is needed to assess the long-term efficacy of this minimal access approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-341
Number of pages13
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Endonasal
  • Endoscopic
  • Minimal access
  • Skull base
  • Surgery
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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