Craniopharyngioma surgery for rhinologists

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Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Craniopharyngiomas are rare tumors that that present with loss of pituitary function in most cases. They present in a bimodal age distribution and the most common treatment paradigms include gross total resection or subtotal resection followed by radiation. Endoscopic transnasal access to intradural tumors has become increasingly common due to improvements in equipment, increased familiarity with the surgical corridor and anatomy, and reconstruction techniques. As such, rhinologists play an increasingly important role in the management of craniopharyngiomas.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent years have highlighted our growing experience with pediatric endonasal skull base surgery. Prior concerns including sphenoid pneumatization, midfacial growth restrictions, and intercarotid space limitations have been studied more extensively. It has been found that there are no increased complications with lack of sphenoid pneumatization, no changes to midfacial growth with endonasal techniques, and the inter-carotid distance is stable after around age 5. Advances in surgical and skull base reconstruction techniques and intraoperative monitoring have reduced the risks of complications from surgery.

SUMMARY: Rhinologists play an important role in craniopharyngioma surgery. The approach to and reconstruction after tumor removal are vital portions of the procedure that allow for resection and prevent postsurgical complications.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Child; Child, Preschool; Craniopharyngioma; Treatment Outcome; Pituitary Neoplasms; Retrospective Studies; Skull Base

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