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Anterior Microsurgical Approach to Ventral Lower Cervical Spine Meningiomas: Indications, Surgical Technique and Long Term Outcome.

Ventral lower cervical spinal meningiomas with posterior displacement of the spinal cord are rare and anterior approach has been rarely reported in the literature. The authors present their experience about eight patients operated through anterior microsurgical approach. Exposure of meningiomas was achieved through one or two corpectomies, according to meningioma extension. Tumour removal was performed thanks to the aid of a dedicated ultrasonic aspirator, and intraoperative evoked potentials were employed. Particular care was taken with the materials adopted for reconstruction of the anterior dural plane, to avoid postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leak. Vertebral fusion and stabilization were achieved by tantalum cage or titanium graft in case of one or two corpectomies respectively; anterior titanium plate fixed with screws was applied in all patients. Extent of tumour removal was related to the presence of a conserved arachnoidal plane between the tumour and the spinal cord: total removal was achieved in 2 patients, while gross total removal in the other six ones. Postoperative neurological outcome, which was favourable in all patients, was related mostly to preoperative neurologic status. No recurrence after total removal and no remnant growth after gross total removal occurred during an average follow-up period of 6, 7 years.

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