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J Neurosurg Sci. 2016 Dec;60(4):454-62. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

The endoscopic endonasal approach for the management of craniopharyngiomas.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy -


Craniopharyngiomas are disembryogenetic, benign, tumors that origin from squamous epithelial remnants of Rathke's pouch, developing from any segment of its course, virtually from rhino-pharynx to the hypothalamus. Historically, different microscopic transcranial routes, have been advocated as possible surgical options for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. The endonasal technique offers a direct approach that permits access to the suprasellar, retrosellar and retroclival space, obviating brain retraction; it provides the advantage of appraoching cranioopharyngiomas without optic nerve manipulation and/or retraction. We herein present the surgical nuances of the endoscopic endonasal approach for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas, highlighting hints, advantages and drawbacks, also in regards of the anatomy dealt with. The endoscopic endonasal technique has been emerging as a viable approach/alternative for the treatment of this disease as the endoscope itself increased its safety and effectiveness. It allows the removal of both infra and supradiaphragmatic lesions - eventually involving the third ventricle chamber but not extending laterally off the ICA out of the visibility and maneuverability of the instruments - avoiding brain and optic nerve manipulation and retraction, with good visualization of the pituitary gland and stalk and the main neurovascular structures.

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