Neurosurgical application of pineal region tumor resection with 3D 4K exoscopy via infratentorial approach: a retrospective cohort study

Int J Surg. 2023 Dec 1;109(12):4062-4072. doi: 10.1097/JS9.0000000000000707.


Background: The pineal region tumors are challenging for neurosurgeons and can lead to secondary hydrocephalus. The introduction of the exoscope has provided clinical interventions with high image quality and an ergonomic system for pineal region tumor operations. In this study, the authors describe the exoscopic approach used to facilitate the surgical resection of pineal region tumors and relieve hydrocephalus.

Materials and methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we consecutively reviewed the clinical and radiological data of 25 patients with pineal region lesions who underwent three-dimensional exoscopic tumor resection at a single center.

Results: The patient cohort consisted of 16 males and 9 females, with an average age of 34.6 years (range, 6-62 years; 8 cases aged ≤18). Pathological examination confirmed eight pineal gland tumors, four gliomas, nine germ cell neoplasms, two ependymomas, and two metastatic tumors. Preoperative hydrocephalus was present in 23 patients. Prior to tumor resection, external ventricular drainage (EVD) with Ommaya reservoir implantation was performed in 17 patients. Two patients received preoperative endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), and five patients received a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt, including one who received both procedures. Gross total resection was achieved in 19 patients (76%) in the 'head-up' park bench position using the exoscope. Eight patients (31.6%) with third ventricle invasion received subtotal resection, mainly in glioma cases, which was higher than those without invasion (0%), but not statistically significant ( P =0.278, Fisher's exact test). No new neurological dysfunction was observed after surgery. Two patients (8%) developed intracranial and pulmonary infections, and two patients (8%) suffered from pneumothorax. Hydrocephalus was significantly relieved in all patients postoperatively, and four patients with relapse hydrocephalus were cured during the long-term follow-up. Postoperative adjuvant management was recommended for indicated patients, and a mean follow-up of 24.8±14.3 months showed a satisfied outcome.

Conclusions: The exoscope is a useful tool for pineal region tumor resection and hydrocephalus relief, particularly with posterior third ventricle invasion, as total resection could be achieved without obvious complication. The special superiority of the exoscope for the indicated pineal region tumors should be highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Glioma* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus* / surgery
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Pineal Gland* / pathology
  • Pineal Gland* / surgery
  • Pinealoma* / complications
  • Pinealoma* / pathology
  • Pinealoma* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Third Ventricle* / pathology
  • Third Ventricle* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventriculostomy / adverse effects
  • Ventriculostomy / methods