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A retrospective review of 8 trigeminal nerve tumors centered in the lateral skull base was carried out. Clinical manifestations, radiographic features, and outcome of management are detailed. Six patients in this series presented for primary surgery, and 2 patients had prior surgical interventions with incomplete resections.
Surgical exposure via the infratemporal fossa (ITF) approaches resulted in complete tumor extirpation in all but I of the reoperated cases. Limited postoperative cranial neuropathies and the lack of intracranial complications are particularly notable in this series.
A mean follow-up of 3 years revealed no evidence of recurrent disease. In the case of incomplete resection, there appears to be no appreciable growth of the small tumor remnant in the region of the cavernous sinus after 5 years.
Trigeminal tumors of the lateral skull base with intracranial components below the level of the posterior clinoid process are ideally suited for the ITF techniques. The importance of securing the petrous carotid artery through a wide exposure is emphasized.