The minimally invasive posterolateral transcavernous-transtentorial approach. Technical nuances, proof of feasibility, and surgical outcomes throughout a case series of sphenopetroclival meningiomas


Department of Neurosurgery, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


OBJECTIVE: Sphenopetroclival (SPC) meningiomas are considered among the most complex skull-base neoplasms to approach surgically. We aim to determine whether some SPC meningiomas can be safely and effectively treated using a modified minimally invasive pterional posterolateral transcavernous-transtentorial approach (MIPLATTA).

METHODS: Fourteen patients harboring SPC meningiomas were surgically treated through a MIPLATTA. MIPLATTA includes a minipterional craniotomy, anterior extradural clinoidectomy, peeling of the temporal fossa, decompression of cranial nerves (CNs) in the cavernous sinus, and sectioning of the tentorium to reach the upper part of the posterior fossa.

RESULTS: Gross total resection was achieved in 11 of 14 patients (78%), whereas near-total resection was accomplished in the other 3 patients (22%), each of whom underwent a further complementary retrosigmoid approach for gross total tumor resection. There were no deaths, and 13 of 14 patients were independent at 6 months follow-up (modified Rankin Scale score ≤2). One patient had pontine infarction after the procedure and experienced moderate disability at follow-up (modified Rankin Scale score 3). All patients had some degree of CN impairment. Of 38 cranial neuropathies, 15 (39%) improved, 20 (53%) remained stable, and 3 (8%) worsened postoperatively. Four new CN deficits were observed postoperatively in 3 patients (fourth CN, 2 patients; third CN, 1; fifth CN, 1).

CONCLUSIONS: MIPLATTA is a useful and safe treatment alternative that allows resection of large SPC tumors with dominant invasion of cavernous sinus and middle fossa, preserves hearing and facial motor function, and provides good chances of recovery of visual and oculomotor deficits.

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