Quality of life outcomes after endoscopic approaches to intracranial tumors

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Purpose of reviewTo review the literature on quality of life (QOL) in endoscopic approaches to anterior and central intracranial skull-base disease. As endoscopic surgical techniques have gained widespread acceptance and complications and morbidity remain low and comparable with microscopic and open approaches, a shift to focusing on patients’ perception of their own well being as an important outcome parameter has been made. In addition to the traditional measurements of surgical outcomes (extent of resection, recurrence rate, morbidity, survival, and complication rate), the success of a surgery can now be assessed using QOL measures.Recent findingsThe main tools for assessing QOL in endoscopic skull-base surgery (anterior skull-base questionnaire and 22-item sinonasal outcome test) were not specifically designed for endoscopic skull-base approaches, and recently, a new tool was introduced and validated, the skull-base inventory, adding to our armamentarium, but it has not yet been widely employed. Endoscopic skull-base surgery leads to improved or sustained long-term QOL overall but it is significantly influenced by tumor disease. Specific endoscopic surgical technique (such as nasoseptal flap closure) appears to have less impact on QOL.SummaryIt is becoming critical to assess therapeutic interventions in terms of impact on a patient's QOL. QOL can be useful in comparing efficacy of surgical interventions, and in the future, it will likely become a reportable indicator of surgical outcome and guide our surgical technique recommendations. Large-scale prospective multicenter trials would be beneficial.

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