Chordoma and chondrosarcoma of the skull base. A series of 24 surgically treated cases and factors predicting early tumor recurrence

Giulio Maira, Roberta Pallini, Eduardo Femandez, Carmelo Anile, Luca Massimi, Francesco Pierconti, Luigi M. Larocca, Maria Laura Falchetti, Graziella Cimino-Reale, Ettore D. 'Ambrosia

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Chordomas and chondrosarcomas (CC) of the skull base are rare accounting for 0.1-0.2% of all intracranial tumors. These neoplasms represent a challenge for the neurosurgeon because of their proximity to vital neurovascular structures. Although CC are generally regarded as slow-growing tumors, shortterm recurrencies after surgical treatment are not uncommon. However, the pathological features that have yet been investigated are poor predictors of outcome. We have retrospectively analysed a series of 24 patients with CC of the cranial base (14 males, 10 females; age 17-84 years) who were surgically treated at our institution since January 1988. Tumor location was as follows, upper clivus 4 cases, middle clivus 13, lower clivus 4, and petrous bone 3. The tumor extended to the anterior skull base and orbit in 2 cases and to C1-C2 in 4. The cavernous sinus was involved in 6 cases. In one case, the tumor was primarily retropharyngeal in location and infiltrated the clivai bone at a later stage. One case also had a vertebral chordoma at the thoracic level, another case developed pulmonary métastases. A total of 40 surgical procedures were performed, that included transsphenoidal approaches 22, trans-maxillary 5, extreme lateral (EL) 4, extended subfrontal 2, orbito-zygomatic 2, trans-oral 2, suboccipital 1, fronto-temporal 1, combined subtemporal-infratemporal and EL 1. Total removal (absence of tumor on microsurgical inspection and on MRI at 3 months after surgery) was achieved in 9 cases. In 10 cases, a subtotal removal was done (resection of 80% of tumor), and in 5 cases the tumor was partly removed (resection

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-21
Number of pages2
JournalSkull Base
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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