The endoscope-assisted ventral approach compared with open microscope-assisted surgery for clival chordomas

Ricardo J Komotar, Robert M Starke, Daniel M S Raper, Vijay K Anand, Theodore H Schwartz
World Neurosurgery 2011, 76 (3-4): 318-27; discussion 259-62

BACKGROUND: The current management paradigm for clival chordomas includes cytoreductive surgery with adjuvant radiotherapy. Surgical approaches have traditionally utilized the microscope to remove these lesions through approaches that require extensive bone drilling, brain retraction, and mobilization of normal anatomy to create a suitably large corridor. The endoscopic ventral approaches provide a direct route to the tumor using natural orifices. Little data exist comparing these 2 surgical strategies. We conducted a systematic review of case series and case reports in hope of furthering our understanding of the role of endoscopy in the management of these difficult cranial base lesions.

METHODS: We performed a MEDLINE (1950 to 2010) search to identify relevant studies. Statistical analyses of categorical variables such as extent of resection, morbidity, and visual outcome were carried out using chi-square and Fisher exact tests.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven studies, involving 766 patients, were included. Compared with the open surgery cohort, the endoscopic cohort had a significantly higher percentage of gross total resection (61.0% vs. 48.1%; P = 0.010), fewer cranial nerve deficits (1.3% vs. 24.2%, P < 0.001), fewer incidences of meningitis (0.9% vs. 5.9%, P = 0.029), less mortality (4.7% vs. 21.6%, P < 0.001), and fewer local recurrences (16.9% vs. 40.0%, P = 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the incidence of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak (P = 0.084). Follow-up was longer in the open compared with the endoscopic cohort (59.7 vs. 18.5 months, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our systematic analysis supports the endoscopic ventral approaches as a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of certain clival chordomas. Although the overall literature supports this technique in carefully selected patients, longer follow-up is needed to more definitively address therapeutic efficacy. Careful patient selection and meticulous multilayer closure are critical to obtaining maximal resection and acceptably low cerebrospinal fluid leak rates.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"