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REVIEW  THE LIMITS OF ENDOSCOPIC ENDONASAL APPROACHES 

Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2018 June;62(3):301-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.18.04376-X

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The limits of transsellar/transtuberculum surgery for craniopharyngioma

Maria KOUTOUROUSIOU 1, Juan C. FERNANDEZ-MIRANDA 1, Eric W. WANG 2, Carl H. SNYDERMAN 2, Paul A. GARDNER 1

1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2 Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA


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The proximity of craniopharyngiomas to vital neurovascular structures and their high recurrence rates make them one of the most challenging brain tumors to treat. Although surgery remains the first line of therapy and offers the best chance of radical resection and oncological cure, the high recurrence tendency of craniopharyngiomas, even after apparent total removal, often makes adjuvant treatment essential. The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has been recently introduced as a treatment option for both pediatric and adult craniopharyngiomas, rapidly gaining wide acceptance over the traditional transcranial approaches. Although the primary role of EEA over traditional transcranial approaches has been slowly accepted in the literature, little has been written about the limitations and potential contraindications of this approach in the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. This article presents the advantages and highlights the limitations of endoscopic transsellar/transtuberculum surgery for craniopharyngiomas. In every case, surgery should be tailored to individuals based on their age and comorbidities, presenting symptoms, tumor characteristics, prior treatment and treatment tolerance, as well as the surgeon’s preference based on personal experience and comfort.


KEY WORDS: Craniopharyngioma - Endoscopy - Natural orifice endoscopic surgery - Skull base

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