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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 Nov 27

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.20.05086-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Surgical anatomy and technical nuances of the endoscopic endonasal approach to the anterior cranial fossa

Joao Paulo ALMEIDA 1, Erion J. DE ANDRADE 1, Allan VESCAN 2, Gelareh ZADEH 3, Pablo F. RECINOS 1, Varun R. KSHETTRY 1, Fred GENTILI 3

1 Section of Skull Base Surgery, Department of Neurological Surgery, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA; 2 Department of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; 3 Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


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Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEA) to the skull base have significantly impacted the management of lesions located in the cranial base. Specifically, lesions arising from the anterior cranial fossa, such as pituitary macroadenomas, craniopharyngiomas meningiomas and craniofacial malignancies have benefited from the development of such approaches. Understanding of the anatomy of the anterior fossa is of utmost importance for the successful selection of the approach and application of surgical techniques in EEA. In the current manuscript, we review the most relevant points of surgical anatomy and nuances of the surgical technique of EEA to the anterior fossa. Anatomical landmarks for the transtuberculum transplanum and transcribriform approaches are discussed and a step-by-step description for those approaches is presented. We reinforce that safe and effective application of such techniques follow the same principles of other skull base surgery techniques: mastering of surgical anatomy, adequate case selection, correct instrumentation and surgical experience.

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