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Selective Extradural Anterior Clinoidectomy For Supra- And Parasellar Processes

Yasuhiro Yonekawa, Nobuyoshi Ogata, Hans-Georg Imhof, Magnus Olivecrona, Kevin Strommer, Tae Eon Kwak, Peter Roth, Peter Groscurth

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✓ Removal of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) facilitates radical removal of tumors or radical neck clipping of aneurysms in the supra- and parasellar regions by providing a wide operative exposure of the internal carotid artery (ICA) and the optic nerve and by reducing the need for brain retraction. Over a period of 3 years, anterior clinoidectomy was performed in 40 patients, 30 of whom harbored aneurysms (18 of the ICA and 13 of the basilar artery [one patient had two aneurysms]) and 10 of whom had tumors (four large pituitary tumors, four craniopharyngiomas, and two sphenoid ridge meningiomas). The ACP was removed extradurally in 31 cases and intradurally in nine cases. Extradural clinoidectomy was performed in all cases of pituitary adenoma and craniopharyngioma and in most cases of basilar artery aneurysm. Intradural clinoidectomy was performed in two cases of ICA—ophthalmic artery aneurysm, two cases of ICA—posterior communicating artery aneurysm, two cases of ICA cavernous aneurysm, one case of basilar artery aneurysm, and two cases of sphenoid ridge meningioma. The outcome was satisfactory in all patients, except for one patient who underwent clipping of a basilar tip aneurysm and suffered a thalamic and midbrain infarction. Three patients who underwent extradural clinoidectomy suffered a postoperative diminution of visual acuity or a visual field defect on the side of the clinoidectomy. These deficits may have been caused either by drilling of the ACP or by other operative manipulation of the optic nerve. Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea, which required reoperation, occurred in one patient. The authors' experience suggests that the extradural technique of ACP removal is easier and less time consuming than the intradural one and provides better operative exposure. It can be used routinely in treating lesions in the supra- and parasellar regions.