Chordoma and chondrosarcoma of the cranial base: an 8-year experience

Neurosurgery. 1989 Dec;25(6):931-40; discussion 940-1. doi: 10.1097/00006123-198912000-00013.


Between 1980 and 1988, 8 patients with chordomas and 9 with low-grade chondrosarcomas involving the cranial base were treated. All the patients were investigated preoperatively and postoperatively with computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging scans, according to a standard protocol. The tumors and the involved bony structures were surgically removed in one or more operations using different operative approaches. Ten patients underwent postoperative radiation therapy, either at our institution or prior to their referral to us. Total removal was defined as the absence of identifiable tumor on magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomographic obtained 3 months postoperatively, and was accomplished in 9 patients. The ability to achieve total removal was greatly increased in patients with tumors that had not previously been operated on. We believe that these tumors must be treated by aggressive surgical resection when initially diagnosed, and this can be accomplished with low morbidity. The follow-up period in our patients was too short to allow us to determine whether such total removals can result in a cure or in long-term control of these formidable tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chondrosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Chondrosarcoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Chondrosarcoma / surgery*
  • Chordoma / diagnosis
  • Chordoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Chordoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Skull Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skull Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull Neoplasms / surgery*