Evaluation Studies
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Endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid transmaxillary approach to the infratemporal and upper parapharyngeal tumors.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the endoscopic transnasal approach to the infratemporal fossa (ITF) and upper parapharyngeal space (UPS) and to analyze the indications and outcomes of this surgical technique in the management of the tumors localized in this critical area.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series with chart review.

SETTING: Tertiary-care referral center.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of patients with benign and malignant tumors arising in or extending to the ITF and UPS, treated from 2002 to 2012 at a single institute. The tumors were surgically resected using an endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid transmaxillary approach.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven consecutive patients with benign tumors (20 juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas, 2 extracranial trigeminal Schwannomas, 2 meningiomas, 1 cavernous hemangioma) and nonmetastatic malignant tumors (2 adenoid-cystic carcinoma, 1 mucoepidermoid carcinoma, 1 squamous cell carcinoma, 1 adenocarcinoma, 1 recurrence of chondrosarcoma, and 6 recurrences of undifferentiated carcinoma of nasopharyngeal type) were treated with curative intent. A gross-total resection was achieved in 35 of 37 patients. Major complications were observed in 1 case (intraoperative internal carotid artery blowout). Postoperatively, 8 patients received some form of adjuvant treatment. Mean follow-up was 30 months for malignancies and 60 months for benign tumors. All patients are now alive without recurrences. Stable intracranial persistence of disease was reported in 2 cases (1 meningioma and 1 adenoid-cystic carcinoma).

CONCLUSION: The purely endoscopic endonasal technique may provide a minimally invasive and safe approach to radically resect selected tumors involving the ITF and UPS. Larger case series and longer follow-up are needed to validate the reproducibility and efficacy of this technique.

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