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Skull base surgery. 1999; 9(1): 23–31.
PMCID: PMC1656717

Giant Olfactory Meningiomas

The Pterional Approach and Its Relevance for Minimizing Surgical Morbidity


Olfactory groove meningiomas may attain surprisingly large size. The subfrontal approach is currently the route preferred by most neurosurgeons for their excision. The pterional-transsylvian route represents an alternate exposure for microsurgery of frontobasal tumors. Although this approach has been already described for olfactory meningiomas, tumors of giant size were not specifically addressed in the literature. We report the application of the pterional-transsylvian approach in six patients with giant olfactory meningiomas. This series is unique because it includes only patients with tumors exceeding 6 cm in diameter with bilateral symmetrical development. A radical removal was achieved in all patients and all of them made a full recovery. To investigate the relevance of the pterional-transsylvian approach for minimizing surgical morbidity, a magnetic resonance imaging protocol was designed to characterize even subtle postoperative frontal lobe structural changes. These changes, limited to the frontal lobe ipsilateral to exposure and localized in specific anatomical domains of the prefrontal area, included cystic degenerative alterations, parenchymal gliosis, and associated persistent white matter edema. Results from the present series strengthen the usefulness of the pterional-transsylvian approach as a safe surgical route for lesions affecting the anterior skull base, even with huge bilateral symmetrical expansion, such as giant olfactory meningiomas.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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