Combined endoscopic approach in the management of suprasellar craniopharyngioma
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Craniopharyngiomas are dysontogenic tumors with benign histology but aggressive behavior. The surgical challenges posed by the tumor are well recognized. Neuroendoscopy has recently contributed to its surgical management. This study focuses on our experience in managing craniopharyngiomas in recent years, highlighting the role of combined endoscopic trans-ventricular and endonasal approach.
Ninety-two patients have been treated for craniopharyngioma from 2000 to 2016 by the senior author. A total of 125 procedures, microsurgical (58) and endoscopic (67), were undertaken. Combined endoscopic approach was carried out in 18 of these patients, 16 children and 2 young adults. All of these patients presented with a large cystic suprasellar mass associated with hydrocephalus. In the first instance, they were treated with a transventricular endoscopic procedure to decompress the cystic component. This was followed by an endonasal transsphenoidal procedure for excision within the next 2 to 6 days. All these patients improved after the initial cyst decompression with relief of hydrocephalus while awaiting remaining tumor removal in a more elective setting. Gross total resection could be done in 84% of these patients. Diabetes insipidus was the most common postsurgical complication seen in 61% patients in the immediate period but was persistent in only two patients at 1-year follow-up. None of the children in this group developed morbid obesity. There was one case of CSF leak requiring repair after initial surgery. Peri-operative mortality was seen in one patient secondary to ventriculitis.
The patients who benefit most from the combined approach are those who present with raised intracranial pressure secondary to a large tumor with cyst causing hydrocephalus. Intraventricular endoscopic cyst drainage allows resolution of hydrocephalus with restoration of normal intracranial pressure, gives time for proper preoperative work up, and has reduced incidence of CSF leak after transnasal surgery.
Combined endoscopic approach thus gives a unique opportunity to remove these lesions more radically with less morbidity.
KeywordsCraniopharyngioma Transnasal neuroendoscopy Transventricular neuroendoscopy Suprasellar
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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