The role of the endoscopic endonasal route in the management of craniopharyngiomas

Luigi Maria Cavallo, Domenico Solari, Felice Esposito, Alessandro Villa, Giuseppe Minniti, Paolo Cappabianca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Craniopharyngiomas represent one of the major challenges of neurosurgery. Surgical management of craniopharyngiomas classically required various transcranial approaches with the transsphenoidal route reserved for very selected cases. With the widespread use of endoscopes in endonasal surgery in the past decade, the extended endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum and transplanum approaches have been proposed as an alternative surgical route for removal of different types of suprasellar tumors, including solid craniopharyngiomas in patients with normal pituitary function and small sella.

Methods A detailed report is presented of the technique used by the authors for the endoscopic endonasal approach for the resection of craniopharyngiomas. For each type of craniopharyngioma, hints and anatomic "main landmarks" are provided throughout each step of the procedure.

Conclusions The endoscopic endonasal approach offers advantages in the management of craniopharyngiomas that historically have been approached via the transsphenoidal route (i.e., purely intrasellar or intra-suprasellar infradiaphragmatic, preferably cystic lesions in patients with panhypopituitarism). Use of the "extended" endoscopic endonasal approach overcomes the limits of the transsphenoidal route to the sella enabling the management of different purely suprasellar and retrosellar cystic/solid craniopharyngiomas, regardless of the sellar size or pituitary function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S32-S40
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Endoscopy
  • Expanded endonasal approach
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of the endoscopic endonasal route in the management of craniopharyngiomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this