Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Endoscopic versus stereotactic procedure for pineal tumour biopsies: Comparative review of the literature and learning from a 25-year experience.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pineal tumours account for 1% to 4% of brain tumours in adults and for around 10% in children. Except in a few cases where germ cell markers are elevated, accurate histological samples are mandatory to initiate the treatment. Open surgery still has a high morbidity and is often needless. Biopsies can either be obtained by endoscopic or stereotactic procedures.

METHODS: Following an extensive review of the literature (PubMed 1970-2013; keywords pineal tumour, biopsy; English and French), 33 studies were analysed and relevant data compared regarding the type of procedure, diagnosis rate, cerebrospinal fluid diversion type and rate, perioperative mortality, morbidity.

RESULTS: Endoscopic and stereotactic biopsies showed a diagnosis rate of 81.1% (20%-100%) and 93.7% (82%-100%), respectively. Endoscopic biopsies involved 21.0% of minor and 2.0% of major complications whereas stereotactic biopsies involved 6.4% of minor and 1.6% of major complications. The most frequently reported complication was haemorrhage for both endoscopic and stereotactic procedures, accounting for 4.8% and 4.3%, respectively. Mortality rate was low for both endoscopic and stereotactic procedures, equal to 0.4% and 1.3%, respectively. Local experience of stereotactic biopsies was also reported and corroborated the previous data.

CONCLUSIONS: The difference between both procedures is not statistically significant (p>0.05) across large series (≥20patients). Nevertheless, tissue diagnosis appears less accurate with endoscopic procedures than with stereotactic procedures (81.1% versus 93.7%, weighted mean across all series). In our opinion, the neuroendoscopic approach is the best tool for managing hydrocephalus, whereas stereotactic biopsies remain the best way to obtain a tissue diagnosis with accuracy and low morbidity.

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