Approach Selection Strategies for Repeat Resection of Brain Cavernous Malformations: Cohort Study : Operative Neurosurgery

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CASE SERIES: Cerebrovascular

Approach Selection Strategies for Repeat Resection of Brain Cavernous Malformations: Cohort Study

Graffeo, Christopher S. MD, MS*; Scherschinski, Lea MD*; Benner, Dimitri BS; Devia, Diego A. MD; Thomas, George BS; Koester, Stefan W. MSc; Catapano, Joshua S. MD; Winkler, Ethan A. MD, PhD; Srinivasan, Visish M. MD; Lawton, Michael T. MD

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Operative Neurosurgery 24(6):p 590-601, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1227/ons.0000000000000668
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Neurosurgical management of cerebral cavernous malformations (CMs) often benefits from using skull base approaches. Although many CMs are cured by resection, residual or recurrent disease may require repeat resection.


To review approach selection strategies for reoperation of CMs to aid decision-making for repeat procedures.


In this retrospective cohort study, a prospectively maintained single-surgeon registry was queried for patients with CMs who underwent repeat resection from January 1, 1997, to April 30, 2021.


Of 854 consecutive patients, 68 (8%) underwent 2 operations; 40 had accessible data on both. In most reoperations (33/40 [83%]), the index approach was repeated. In most reoperations using the index approach (29/33 [88%]), that approach was deemed ideal (no equivalent or superior alternative), whereas in some (4/33 [12%]), the alternative approach was deemed unsafe because of conformation of the tract. Among patients with reoperations using an alternative approach (7/40 [18%]), 2 with index transsylvian approaches underwent bifrontal transcallosal approaches, 2 with index presigmoid approaches underwent extended retrosigmoid revisions, and 3 with index supracerebellar-infratentorial approaches underwent alternative supracerebellar-infratentorial trajectory revisions. Among patients with reoperations with an alternative approach considered or selected (11/40 [28%]), 8 of 11 patients had a different surgeon for the index resection than for the repeat resection. The extended retrosigmoid-based approaches were used most often for reoperations.


Repeat resection of recurrent or residual CMs is a challenging neurosurgical niche at the intersection of cerebrovascular and skull base disciplines. Suboptimal index approaches may limit surgical options for repeat resection.


© Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2023. All rights reserved.

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