Microsurgical Management of Craniopharyngiomas via a Unilateral Subfrontal Approach: A Retrospective Study of 177 Continuous Cases.

World Neurosurgery

PubMedID: 26970477

Du C, Feng CY, Yuan XR, Liu Q, Peng ZF, Jiang XJ, Li XJ, Xiao GL, Li YF, Xiong T. Microsurgical Management of Craniopharyngiomas via a Unilateral Subfrontal Approach: A Retrospective Study of 177 Continuous Cases. World Neurosurg. 2016;90454-68.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate the outcomes of 177 cases of craniopharyngioma (CP) treated via a unilateral subfrontal approach.

METHODS
A total of 177 continuous microscopic surgeries were performed by the senior author (Y.X.). The tumors were divided into 6 groups using the diaphragm sellae and the third ventricle floor as the anatomic references. The preoperative, postoperative, and long-term follow-up data were analyzed to evaluate the extent of tumor resection, recurrence, and functional status.

RESULTS
The subfrontal-basal approach was used in 169 (91.4%) cases. Total resection was achieved in 167 (94.4%) cases. A total of 158 patients were followed from 6 to 130 months. There were 3 perioperative and 23 delayed deaths. Twenty-two patients had tumor recurrence (12.7%). The progression-free survival was 80% at 5 years and 72% at 10 years. The overall survival was 84.0% at 2.5 years and 83.2% at 10 years. There was a significant increase of pituitary dysfunction after total resection. Neurologic function was stable in most patients. Rate of hypothalamic dysfunction and mortality were higher in patients with intraventricular CPs. Of the surviving patients, 91.8% were living independently with acceptable morbidities at the end of the study.

CONCLUSIONS
Most CPs extend along the intrasellar-suprasellar-third ventricle axis. A subfrontal-basal approach is a simple, safe, and effective approach to resecting CPs extending along the vertical axis. A translamina terminalis approach is an ideal corridor to resect intraventricular CP. The benefit of radical resection remains controversial, especially for CPs involving the infundibulotuberal region.