A Staged Strategy for Craniocervical Junction Chordoma with Combination of Endoscopic Endonasal Approach and Far Lateral Approach with Endoscopic Assistance: Case Report

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ObjectiveWhile the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has gained widespread acceptance for the resection of clivus chordomas, conventional transcranial approaches still have a crucial role in craniocervical junction (CCJ) chordoma surgery. In repeat surgery, a carefully planned treatment strategy is needed. We present a surgical treatment plan combining an EEA and a far-lateral craniotomy with endoscopic assistance (EA) in the salvage surgery of a recurrent CCJ chordoma.Case PresentationA 37-year-old woman who had undergone partial resection of a chordoma extending from the mid-clivus to the CCJ.TechniqueA two-stage surgical intervention was planned. First, we opted for an EEA with the intention of removing only the extradural and medial compartments of the lesion. The rationale was to avoid intradural dissection of possibly adherent tissues from the previous procedures and to minimize the cerebrospinal fluid leak risk. One month after the first endonasal stage, a far lateral craniotomy was performed. After removal of the lateral mass and pedicle of C1, a large surgical corridor to the tumor was obtained. Tumor loculations disseminated in and around the CCJ and located in the areas blind to microscopic examination were then successfully resected with EA. An occipito-cervical fusion was then performed during the same procedure.ConclusionIn addition to the exact location and morphology of the tumor, history of previous surgery was an important factor in devising a treatment strategy in this case of clivus chordoma. EA was also found to be instrumental in improving the reach of the far lateral approach.

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