Lateral inferior cerebellar peduncle approach to dorsolateral medullary cavernous malformation

Vivek R Deshmukh, Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Robert F Spetzler
Journal of Neurosurgery 2014, 121 (3): 723-9

OBJECT: Brainstem cavernous malformations (BSCMs) present a unique therapeutic challenge to neurosurgeons. Resection of BSCMs is typically reserved for lesions that reach pial or ependymal surfaces. The current study investigates the lateral inferior cerebellar peduncle as a corridor to dorsolateral medullary BSCMs.

METHODS: In this retrospective review, the authors present the cases of 4 patients (3 women and 1 man) who had a symptomatic dorsolateral cavernous malformation with radiographic and clinical evidence of hemorrhage.

RESULTS: All patients underwent excision of the cavernous malformation via a far-lateral suboccipital craniotomy through the foramen of Luschka and with an incision in the inferior cerebellar peduncle. On intraoperative examination, 2 of the 4 patients had hemosiderin staining on the surface of the peduncle. All lesions were completely excised and all patients had a good or excellent outcome (modified Rankin Scale scores of 0 or 1).

CONCLUSIONS: This case series illustrates that intrinsic lesions of the dorsolateral medulla can be safely removed laterally through the foramen of Luschka and the inferior cerebellar peduncle.

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