Predictors of surgical approaches for the repair of anterior cranial base encephaloceles

Ramazan Gun, Fuat Tosun, Abdullah Durmaz, Ediz Yorgancilar, Salih Bakir, Kaan Kamasak, Cuneyt Gocmez
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2013, 270 (4): 1299-305
Surgical approaches to the anterior cranial base have changed considerably with the introduction of endonasal endoscopic surgery. This study aims to define the factors which help in selecting the optimal surgical approach for the treatment of anterior cranial base encephaloceles. Patients who received treatment for anterior cranial base encephaloceles at our department between 1996 and 2011 were included in the study. Patients' charts were reviewed retrospectively to collect the necessary data. Treatment periods were classified as before 2000, between 2000 and 2005, and after 2005. The relationship between the treatment period, localization of encephalocele, symptoms related with the lesion, size of skull base defect, and selected treatment modality were investigated. Twenty-five patients, aged between 1 and 61 years with anterior encephaloceles were included in the study. Patients with small asymptomatic frontonasal and trans-ethmoidal encephaloceles (n = 5) were followed without surgery. An external approach with or without subfrontal craniotomy was mainly preferred for resection of sincipital encephaloceles (n = 10), especially with facial deformity. A subfrontal craniotomy approach was used for resection of basal encephaloceles in two cases before 2000. Two cases with sincipital encephaloceles and six cases with basal encephaloceles underwent pure endonasal endoscopic surgery after 2000. Cranial base defects of every size could be repaired using the endoscopic approach. Hydrocephalus and meningitis were the two complications seen after craniotomy in a follow-up period of 13-26 (mean 14.5) months. An external approach with or without craniotomy is needed for encephaloceles with external mass and facial deformity. Otherwise, sincipital and basal encephaloceles can be repaired successfully using the endonasal endoscopic approach.

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