Diagnosis and microsurgical treatment of chondromas and chondrosarcomas of the cranial base

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Chondromas and chondrosarcomas of the cranial base are rare neoplastic diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the diagnosis and microsurgical treatment of these difficult cranial base tumors. A total of 19 patients who underwent microsurgery were pathologically diagnosed with cranial base chondromas or chondrosarcomas and their clinical data was reviewed. The chondromas and chondrosarcomas of the cranial base in the present study commonly originated in the sphenopetrosal, sphenoclival or petroclival junctions, and the majority were located in the parasellar region of the middle cranial base extradurally. The most frequent symptoms were headaches and cranial nerve palsy, and the Karnofsky performance score (KPS), assessed pre-operatively, averaged at 87.1. A frontotemporal or preauricular subtemporal-infratemporal approach was used in 11 cases, a tempo-occipital transtentorial or presigmoid supratentorial-infratentorial approach was employed in six further cases, and the far-lateral or retrosigmoid approach was applied in the remaining two cases. A total or near-total tumor removal was secured in 13 cases, while a subtotal removal was obtained in another five and a partial removal was achieved in one case. The most common post-operative complications included cranial nerve palsy and cerebrospinal fluid leakage, but there were no post-operative fatalities. A total of 15 patients were followed up for a mean of 67.2 months (range, 5-140 months), and 13 (76.5%) of these patients were living normal lives (KPS, 80-90). There were two patients with recurrent tumors. The neuroradiological examinations and the presenting symptoms and signs allow the pre-operative diagnosis to be presumed for the majority of cranial base chondromas or chondrosarcomas. Surgical resection is the key treatment for these tumors, and this treatment is known to improve the survival rates.




Geng, S., Zhang, J., Zhang, L. W., Wu, Z., Jia, G., Xiao, X., & Hao, S. (2014). Diagnosis and microsurgical treatment of chondromas and chondrosarcomas of the cranial base. Oncology Letters, 8(1), 301–304. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2014.2072

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