The endoscopic endonasal approach for the management of craniopharyngiomas

Domenico Solari, Roberta Morace, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Francesca Amoroso, Gilda Cennamo, Marialaura Del Basso De Caro, Paolo Cappabianca

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Craniopharyngiomas are disembryogenetic, benign, tumors that origin from squamous epithelial remnants of Rathke s pouch, developing from any segment of its course, virtually from rhino-pharynx to the hypothalamus. Historically, different microscopic transcranial routes, have been advocated as possible surgical options for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. The endonasal technique offers a direct approach that permits access to the suprasellar, retrosellar and retroclival space, obviating brain retraction; it provides the advantage of appraoching cranioopharyngiomas without optic nerve manipulation and/or retraction. We herein present the surgical nuances of the endoscopic endonasal approach for the treatment of craniopharyngiomas, highlighting hints, advantages and drawbacks, also in regards of the anatomy dealt with. The endoscopic endonasal technique has been emerging as a viable approach/alternative for the treatment of this disease as the endoscope itself increased its safety and effectiveness. It allows the removal of both infra and supradiaphragmatic lesions - eventually involving the third ventricle chamber but not extending laterally off the ICA out of the visibility and maneuverability of the instruments - avoiding brain and optic nerve manipulation and retraction, with good visualization of the pituitary gland and stalk and the main neurovascular structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-462
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Endoscopy
  • Skull base
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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