Craniopharyngioma endoscopic endonasal approach

Craniopharyngioma endoscopic endonasal approach

Craniopharyngioma surgery has evolved over the last two decades. Traditional transcranial microsurgical approaches were the only option until the advent of the endoscopic endonasal approach 1).

The endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngiomas is increasingly used as an alternative to microsurgical transsphenoidal or transcranial approaches. It is a step forward in treatment, providing improved resection rates and better visual outcome. Especially in retrochiasmatic tumors, this approach provides better lesion access and reduces the degree of manipulations of the optic apparatus. The panoramic view offered by endoscopy and the use of angulated optics allows the removal of lesions extending far into the third ventricle avoiding microsurgical brain splitting. Intensive training is required to perform this surgery 2).


The highest priority of current surgical craniopharyngioma treatment is to maximize tumor removal without compromising the patients’ long-term functional outcome. Surgical damage to the hypothalamus may be avoided or at least ameliorated with a precise knowledge regarding the type of adherence for each case.

Endoscopic endonasal approach, has been shown to achieve higher rates of hypothalamic preservation regardless of the degree of involvement by tumor 3) 4).


Qiao et al., conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They conducted a comprehensive search of PubMed to identify relevant studies. Pituitary, hypothalamus functions and recurrence were used as outcome measures. A total of 39 cohort studies involving 3079 adult patients were included in the comparison. Among these studies, 752 patients across 17 studies underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal resection, and 2327 patients across 23 studies underwent transcranial resection. More patients in the endoscopic group (75.7%) had visual symptoms and endocrine symptoms (60.2%) than did patients in the transcranial group (67.0%, p = 0.038 and 42.0%, p = 0.016). There was no significant difference in hypopituitarism and pan-hypopituitarism after surgery between the two groups: 72.2% and 43.7% of the patients in endoscopic group compared to 80.7% and 48.3% in the transcranial group (p = 0.140 and p = 0.713). We observed same proportions of transient and permanent diabetes insipidus in both groups. Similar recurrence was observed in both groups (p = 0.131). Pooled analysis showed that neither weight gain (p = 0.406) nor memory impairment (p = 0.995) differed between the two groups. Meta-regression analysis revealed that gross total resection contributed to the heterogeneity of recurrence proportion (p < 0.001). They observed similar proportions of endocrine outcomes and recurrence in both endoscopic and transcranial groups. More recurrences were observed in studies with lower proportions of gross total resection 5).


The extended endoscopic transsphenoidal approach has been more recently developed as a potentially surgically aggressive, yet minimal access, alternative.

Komotar et al 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.

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 6)

Extended endoscopic transsphenoidal approach have gained interest. Surgeons have advocated for both approaches, and at present there is no consensus whether one approach is superior to the other.

With the widespread use of endoscopes in endonasal surgery, the endoscopic transtuberculum transplanum approach have been proposed as an alternative surgical route for removal of different types of suprasellar tumors, including solid craniopharyngiomas in patients with normal pituitary function and small sella.

As part of a minimally disruptive treatment paradigm, the extended endoscopic transsphenoidal approach has the potential to improve rates of resection, improve postoperative visual recovery, and minimize surgical morbidity 7).

The endoscopic endonasal approach has become a valid surgical technique for the management of craniopharyngiomas. It provides an excellent corridor to infra- and supradiaphragmatic midline craniopharyngiomas, including the management of lesions extending into the third ventricle chamber. Even though indications for this approach are rigorously lesion based, the data confirm its effectiveness in a large patient series 8).

The endoscopic endonasal approach offers advantages in the management of craniopharyngiomas that historically have been approached via the transsphenoidal approach (i.e., purely intrasellar or intra-suprasellar infradiaphragmatic, preferably cystic lesions in patients with panhypopituitarism).

Use of the extended endoscopic endonasal approach overcomes the limits of the transsphenoidal route to the sella enabling the management of different purely suprasellar and retrosellar cystic/solid craniopharyngiomas, regardless of the sellar size or pituitary function 9).

They provide acceptable results comparable to those for traditional craniotomies. Endoscopic endonasal surgery is not limited to adults and actually shows higher resection rates in the pediatric population 10).

Infrachiasmatic corridor

Craniopharyngioma endoscopic endonasal approach complications.

see Craniopharyngioma endoscopic endonasal approach case series.


1)

Fong RP, Babu CS, Schwartz TH. Endoscopic endonasal approach for craniopharyngiomas. J Neurosurg Sci. 2021 Apr;65(2):133-139. doi: 10.23736/S0390-5616.21.05097-9. PMID: 33890754.
2)

Baldauf J, Hosemann W, Schroeder HW. Endoscopic Endonasal Approach for Craniopharyngiomas. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2015 Jul;26(3):363-75. doi: 10.1016/j.nec.2015.03.013. Epub 2015 May 26. PMID: 26141356.
3)

Tan TSE, Patel L, Gopal-Kothandapani JS, Ehtisham S, Ikazoboh EC, Hayward R, et al: The neuroendocrine sequelae of paediatric craniopharyngioma: a 40-year meta-data analysis of 185 cases from three UK centres. Eur J Endocrinol 176:359–369, 2017
4)

Yokoi H, Kodama S, Kogashiwa Y, Matsumoto Y, Ohkura Y, Nakagawa T, et al: An endoscopic endonasal approach for early-stage olfactory neuroblastoma: an evaluation of 2 cases with minireview of literature. Case Rep Otolaryngol 2015:541026, 2015
5)

Qiao N. Endocrine outcomes of endoscopic versus transcranial resection of craniopharyngiomas: A system review and meta-analysis. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2018 Apr 7;169:107-115. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2018.04.009. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 29655011.
6)

Komotar RJ, Starke RM, Raper DM, Anand VK, Schwartz TH. Endoscopic endonasal compared with microscopic transsphenoidal and open transcranial resection of craniopharyngiomas. World Neurosurg. 2012 Feb;77(2):329-41. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.07.011. Epub 2011 Nov 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 22501020.
7)

Zacharia BE, Amine M, Anand V, Schwartz TH. Endoscopic Endonasal Management of Craniopharyngioma. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2016 Feb;49(1):201-12. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2015.09.013. Review. PubMed PMID: 26614838.
8)

Cavallo LM, Frank G, Cappabianca P, Solari D, Mazzatenta D, Villa A, Zoli M, D’Enza AI, Esposito F, Pasquini E. The endoscopic endonasal approach for the management of craniopharyngiomas: a series of 103 patients. J Neurosurg. 2014 May 2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24785324.
9)

Cavallo LM, Solari D, Esposito F, Villa A, Minniti G, Cappabianca P. The Role of the Endoscopic Endonasal Route in the Management of Craniopharyngiomas. World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec;82(6S):S32-S40. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2014.07.023. Review. PubMed PMID: 25496633.
10)

Koutourousiou M, Gardner PA, Fernandez-Miranda JC, Tyler-Kabara EC, Wang EW, Snyderman CH. Endoscopic endonasal surgery for craniopharyngiomas: surgical outcome in 64 patients. J Neurosurg. 2013 Nov;119(5):1194-207. doi: 10.3171/2013.6.JNS122259. Epub 2013 Aug 2. PubMed PMID: 23909243.

Cerebrospinal fluid leak after endoscopic skull base surgery

Cerebrospinal fluid leak after endoscopic skull base surgery

Although rates of postoperative morbidity and mortality have become relatively low in patients undergoing transnasal transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for pituitary adenomacerebrospinal fluid fistulas remain a major driver of postoperative morbidity. Persistent CSF fistulas harbor the potential for headache and meningitis.

Staartjes et al., trained and internally validated a robust deep neural network-based prediction model that identifies patients at high risk for intraoperative CSF. Machine learning algorithms may predict outcomes and adverse events that were previously nearly unpredictable, thus enabling safer and improved patient care and better patient counseling 1).


The objective of a study of Umamaheswaran et al., was to assess the incidence of CSF leak following pituitary surgery and the methods of effective skull base repair. This retrospective observational study conducted in a tertiary care hospital after obtaining due clearance from the Institutional ethics committee. The charts of patients who underwent endonasal pituitary surgery between 2013 and 2018 were studied and details noted. Patients undergoing revision surgery or with history of preoperative radiotherapy were excluded from the study. 52 patients were included in the study. Based on the type of CSF leak, the patients were grouped into four. 19 patients (36.5%) had an intraoperative CSF leak. 3 patients developed a postoperative CSF leak. Based on the histopathology, 4 patients had ACTH secreting tumor. 8 patients had growth hormone secreting tumor, 22 had gonadotropin secreting tumor, 9 patients had a non-functioning tumour and 9 patients had prolactinoma. The type of skull base repair performed in these patients were grouped into 4.18 patients underwent type I repair, 21 patients underwent type II repair, 8 patients underwent type III repair and 5 patients underwent type IV repair. They observed that the pedicled nasoseptal flap is particularly advantageous over other repair techniques, especially in low pressure leaks. The strategy for skull base repair should be tailored to suit each patient to minimise the occurrence of morbidity and the duration of hospital stay 2).


Cerebrospinal fluid leakage is always the primary complication during the endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery.

Dural suturing technique may supply a rescue method. However, suturing and knotting in such a deep and narrow space are difficult. Training in the model can improve skills and setting a stepwise curriculum can increase trainers’ interest and confidence.

Xie et al. constructed an easy model using silicone and acrylic as sphenoid sinus and using the egg-shell membrane as skull base dura. The training is divided into three steps: Step 1: extracorporeal knot-tying suture on the silicone of sphenoid sinus, Step 2: intra-nasal knot-tying suture on the same silicone, and Step 3: intra-nasal egg-shell membrane knot-tying suture. Fifteen experienced microneurosurgical neurosurgeons (Group A) and ten inexperienced PGY residents (Group B) were recruited to perform the tasks. Performance measures were time, suturing and knotting errors, and needle and thread manipulations. The third step was assessed through the injection of full water into the other side of the egg to verify the watertight suture. The results were compared between two groups.

Group A finishes the first and second tasks in significantly less time (total time, 125.1 ± 10.8 vs 195.8 ± 15.9 min) and fewer error points (2.4 ± 1.3 vs 5.3 ± 1.0) than group B. There are five trainers in group A who passed the third step, this number in group B was only one.

This low cost and stepwise training model improved the suture and knot skills for skull base repair during endoscopic endonasal surgery. Experienced microneurosurgical neurosurgeons perform this technique more competent 3).

In-Hospital Costs

All endoscopic transsphenoidal approach for pituitary surgeries performed from January 1, 2015, to October 24, 2017, with complete data were evaluated in a retrospective single-institution study. The electronic medical record was reviewed for patient factors, tumor characteristics, and cost variables during each hospital stay. Multivariate linear regression was performed using Stata software.

The analysis included 190 patients and average length of stay was 4.71 days. Average total in-hospital cost was $28,624 (95% confidence interval $25,094-$32,155) with average total direct cost of $19,444 ($17,136-$21,752) and total indirect cost of $9181 ($7592-$10,409). On multivariate regression, post-operative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak was associated with a significant increase in all cost variables, including a total cost increase of $40,981 ($15,474-$66,489, P = .002). Current smoking status was associated with an increased total cost of $20,189 ($6,638-$33,740, P = .004). Self-reported Caucasian ethnicity was associated with a significant decrease in total cost of $6646 (-$12,760 to -$532, P = .033). Post-operative DI was associated with increased costs across all variables that were not statistically significant.

Post-operative CSF leak, current smoking status, and non-Caucasian ethnicity were associated with significantly increased costs. Understanding of cost drivers of endoscopic transphenoidal pituitary surgery is critical for future cost control and value creation initiatives 4).

Case series

see Cerebrospinal fluid leak after endoscopic skull base surgery case series.

References

1)

Staartjes VE, Zattra CM, Akeret K, Maldaner N, Muscas G, Bas van Niftrik CH, Fierstra J, Regli L, Serra C. Neural network-based identification of patients at high risk for intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid leaks in endoscopic pituitary surgery. J Neurosurg. 2019 Jun 21:1-7. doi: 10.3171/2019.4.JNS19477. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31226693.
2)

Umamaheswaran P, Krishnaswamy V, Krishnamurthy G, Mohanty S. Outcomes of Surgical Repair of Skull Base Defects Following Endonasal Pituitary Surgery: A Retrospective Observational Study. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019 Mar;71(1):66-70. doi: 10.1007/s12070-018-1511-4. Epub 2018 Oct 15. PubMed PMID: 30906716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6401034.
3)

Xie T, Zhang X, Gu Y, Sun C, Liu T. A low cost and stepwise training model for skull base repair using a suturing and knotting technique during endoscopic endonasal surgery. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2018 Jun 1. doi: 10.1007/s00405-018-5024-2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29858924.
4)

Parasher AK, Lerner DK, Glicksman JT, et al. Drivers of In-Hospital Costs Following Endoscopic Transphenoidal Pituitary Surgery [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 24]. Laryngoscope. 2020;10.1002/lary.29041. doi:10.1002/lary.29041

May 2, Webinar Topic: Endoscopic Ant Fossa Meningioma Excision/ Intraventricular Tumor Management

IFNE/ WFNS Endoscopy Weekend Update 3
Topic: Endoscopic Ant Fossa Meningioma Excision/ Intraventricular Tumor Management

Time: May 2, 2020
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