A rare symptomatic presentation of ecchordosis physaliphora and unique endoscope-assisted surgical management

Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2002 Mar;45(1):36-40. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-23584.


We report on the presentation, diagnosis, and surgical management of a rare symptomatic case of ecchordosis physaliphora, including the use of endoscopy as a valuable imaging device in its operative management. A 49-year-old male presented with a intradural extra-axial mass located to the left of the basilar artery in the prepontine space. The tumor was exposed via a transmaxillary transclival approach and resected under binocular microscopic visualization. Prior to and following resection, endoscopes were introduced into the surgical field to conduct anatomic surveys of the region and to assess the completeness of tumor removal. Ecchordosis physaliphora is an uncommon benign lesion originating from embryonic notochordal remnants. It rarely causes clinical symptoms due to its slow growth patterns. Although similarities between EP of the spheno-occiput and chordomas of the clivus make distinction obscure, differentiation is important. Differences in these lesions impact upon patient prognosis as well as therapeutic strategies. The use of endoscopy in the resection of this mass marks an innovative approach to intraoperative imaging of the clival region; improved visualization of the prepontine area allows for more accurate defintion of the surgical anatomy of the tumor and for thorough assessment of the completeness of tumor removal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / surgery
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / surgery
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*