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Am J Otol. 1993 Nov;14(6):533-43.

Translabyrinthine approach to skull base tumors with hearing preservation.

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Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Eye and Ear Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.


The improvement in surgical techniques and the experience gained in treatment of skull base tumors have stimulated more aggressive management of larger lesions. Patients presenting with limited preoperative deficits have challenged the surgeon to design the surgical approach so as to minimize postoperative morbidity and preserve function. Tumors of the middle fossa and clivus with extension into the posterior fossa are usually approached by a combined subtemporal, transtentorial, transpetrous approach. In patients with preoperative hearing, the surgical exposure is often limited by the labyrinthine portion of the otic capsule. The technique of partial labyrinthectomy, removing the posterior and/or superior semicircular canals, maximizes exposure with preservation of hearing. This report details our experience with the partial labyrinthectomy approach for 14 patients with large skull base lesions. All patients had hearing preserved despite sacrifice of one or two of the semicircular canals. Bone pure-tone averages and speech discrimination scores were maintained near their preoperative levels. The indications, benefits, techniques, and hearing results of this approach are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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