Transnasal endoscopic resection of lesions of the clivus: A preliminary report

C. Arturo Solares, Samer Fakhri, Pete S. Batra, Joung Lee, Donald C. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review our experience with transnasal endoscopic resection of clival lesions. BACKGROUND: Because of the surrounding vital structures and the difficulties in achieving wide surgical exposure, the treatment of clival lesions is challenging. In an effort to overcome these obstacles, many centers use facial incisions and osteotomies to approach clival lesions. Minimally invasive endoscopic techniques have the potential to minimize morbidity while yielding similar surgical results. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart analysis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with tumors involving the clivus that underwent endoscopic resection between 2000 and 2004 were identified. Charts were reviewed for clinical characteristics, previous therapies, diagnosis, tumor extent, management modalities, length of hospital stay, complications, and outcome. RESULTS: A total of six patients were identified. There were four males and two females with a mean age of 50 years, ranging from 29 to 66 years. The most common presenting symptoms were visual disturbances. Three patients had prior craniotomy with subtotal tumor resection. The pathology included three clival chordomas, and one each of meningioma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, and sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. All patients were managed with computer-aided transnasal endoscopic tumor resection with neurosurgical standby or involvement. None of the patients required additional craniotomies. The mean follow-up was 13 (range, 8-24) months. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy was used in three patients, and two patients are currently undergoing proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT). The average length of hospital stay was 2 (range, 2-3) days. There were no major postoperative complications. At the last follow-up, five patients were alive with two patients being free of disease. Two patients with residual disease are currently undergoing PBRT, and one patient developed distant metastasis. One patient died of unrelated causes. CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary report suggests that transnasal endoscopic management of clival lesions is a viable option to traditional open approaches with acceptable morbidity and mortality. The use of computer-aided surgery further minimizes surgical risks while maximizing tumor resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1917-1922
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Chordoma
  • Clivus
  • Endoscopy
  • Meningioma
  • Sinonasal malignancies
  • Skull base surgery transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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