Background: Because of a better understanding of the anatomy from an endoscopic perspective, the acquisition of surgical experience, and concomitant technological advances, endoscopic resection of the anterior skull base (ASB) and overlying dura has now become a reality, opening new possibilities in the management of sinonasal malignancies. Here, the authors review a series of 62 patients, the largest reported to date, who underwent endoscopic transnasal craniectomy (ETC) and endoscopic dural repair for the management of selected sinonasal malignancies. Special emphasis is placed on the surgical technique, technical tricks, choice of materials for endoscopic dural repair, postoperative management, and complications.
Methods: From 2004, 62 patients underwent ETC at two referral hospitals, which extended anteroposteriorly from the frontal sinus to planum sphenoidale and laterolaterally from the nasal septum to the lamina papyracea (unilateral resection, n = 28; 45%) or from papyracea to papyracea (bilateral resection, n = 34; 55%). Duraplasty with a three-layer technique was performed using the iliotibial tract and fat tissue.
Results: The most frequent histotypes were adenocarcinoma (58%) and olfactory neuroblastoma (22%). Forty-five (73%) patients were previously untreated. The incidence of early (T1-2, Kadish A-B) and advanced (T3-4, Kadish C) tumors was similar. The complication rate was 15%, mostly cerebrospinal fluid leaks (13%). Its prevalence did not correlate with patient age, medical comorbidities, previous treatment, presence of ASB involvement, or whether ETC was mono- or bilateral, but tended to correlate with advanced tumor stage, dural involvement, and the period of treatment. After a mean follow-up of 17.5 months (range, 1-54 months), 58 (94%) patients had no evidence of disease.
Conclusion: In correctly selected patients with sinonasal tumors involving the ASB, ETC offers a less invasive alternative than resection by an open approach with an acceptable morbidity.