Endoscopic endonasal approach for trigeminal schwannomas: our experience of 39 patients in 10 years

Lu Yang, Li Hu, Weidong Zhao, Huankang Zhang, Quan Liu, Dehui Wang
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2018, 275 (3): 735-741

BACKGROUND: The anatomical locations involved in trigeminal schwannomas (TSs) are quite complex. The endoscopic endonasal approach provides a minimal damage access corridor to both anterior and middle skull base for surgery. Given the nerve function recovery and postoperative neurological deterioration varied in different reports, the author demonstrates his surgery tips and the functional outcomes under endoscopic surgery in one single institution.

METHODS: A retrospective review of patients with TSs was undertaken to assess the outcome of endoscopic surgery from 2006 to 2016. Clinical features, imaging findings, preoperative/postoperative neurological deficits, surgical approaches and followed up data were collected.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients with TSs were included in this study. Surgical approaches include endoscopic medial maxillectomy approach (n = 8), endoscopic endonasal-assisted sublabial transmaxillary approach (n = 27) and endoscopic endonasal-assisted sublabial transmaxillary combined with septectomy (n = 4). Gross total resection and sub-total resection were achieved in 27 and 10 patients, respectively. The most common chief complaint was facial numbness, accounting for 41%, with a resolved rate of 62.5% after treatment. Fifteen patients developed new neurologic symptoms, including facial numbness/pain (n = 9 and 2, respectively), dry eye (n = 3) and mastication weakness (n = 1). Eight of these patients had partial improvement except for patients with dry eye.

CONCLUSION: Endoscopic endonasal approach represents a safe and effective surgical procedure for TSs in pterygopalatine fossa, infratemporal fossa and even Meckel cave. Tumor resection can be achieved by endoscope with few neurologic deficits and complications.

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