BACKGROUND: Craniopharyngiomas (CRPs) often cause visual deterioration (VD) due to the close vicinity of the optic apparatus.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate longitudinal visual outcomes after surgery of CRP and determine the prognostic factors thereof.
METHODS: One hundred forty-six adult patients who underwent surgery for newly diagnosed CRP were retrospectively reviewed. There were 87 male patients (60%), and the median age was 41 years (range, 18-75). The mean follow-up duration was 88.7 months (range, 24-307). A visual impairment score was used to assess the short-term (<1 month) and long-term (>2 years) visual outcomes.
RESULTS: Gross total removal was performed in 53 patients (36%), and tumor recurrence occurred in 40 patients (27%). The average preoperative, short- and long-term visual impairment scores were 44.4, 38.5, and 38.1, respectively, on a 0- to 100-point scale (with 100 indicating the worst vision). Short- and long-term VD occurred in 28 (19%) and 39 patients (27%), respectively. Subtotal removal (STR) alone (P = .010; OR = 4.8), short-term VD (P < .001; OR = 39.7), and tumor recurrence (P < .001; OR = 28.2) were significant risk factors for long-term VD in the multivariate analysis. Patients undergoing STR alone had higher tumor recurrence rates in comparison with those who underwent gross total removal or STR with adjuvant therapy (P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Short-term VD secondary to the surgical insult and the recurrence of the tumor were strong predictors of long-term visual outcomes after surgical treatment for CRP. STR alone may be an ineffective strategy for achieving tumor control and optimal visual outcomes in patients with CRP.
ABBREVIATIONS: CI, confidence interval
GTR, gross total removal
STR, subtotal removal
VA, visual acuity
VD, visual deterioration
VF, visual field
VIS, visual impairment score