Long-term results of the transmanubrial osteomuscular-sparing approach for pediatric tumors

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The complete and safe resection of pediatric cervicothoracic tumors, mostly represented by neurogenic tumors, remains a surgical challenge because of the complex anatomy of this region. The transmanubrial osteomuscular-sparing approach (TOSA) is an alternative to isolated or combined cervical and thoracic approaches enabling the control of supra-aortic vessels and nerves through the thoracic inlet.


We retrospectively reviewed the tumor characteristics, completeness of resection, morbidity, and long-term outcome of patients with cervicothoracic tumors removed by TOSA between 2000 and 2012 in our institution.


Thirteen patients (7 males, 6 females) underwent surgery at a median age of 72 months (4–188) for neuroblastoma (n = 6), ganglioneuroblastoma (n = 3), rhabdoid tumor (n = 1), melanotic schwannoma (n = 1), chordoma (n = 1), and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in one patient with type 1 neurofibromatosis. The median duration of the procedure was 215 minutes (110–315). Two children presented with postoperative chylothorax that resolved spontaneously. The median duration of hospitalization was 7 days (4–22). At a median follow-up of 39 months (2–159), four patients had died of metastatic relapse (n = 2), locoregional progression (n = 1), and chemotoxicity (n = 1). The patient with melanotic schwannoma was lost to follow-up after a local relapse at 5 months. Long-term morbidity revealed homolateral Claude-Bernard Horner sign and upper limb vasomotor dysfunction in disease-free patients due to mandatory resection of the stellate ganglia.


TOSA is a valuable surgical approach for all cervicothoracic tumors with acceptable long-term morbidity when compared with its complexity. We can therefore recommend TOSA for tumors involving the thoracic inlet.

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