Background: The endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has been accepted as an alternative option for diseases at the craniovertebral junction. However, the inferior destination through the endoscopic endonasal approach is anatomically higher than that of the transoral approach. Therefore, preoperative assessment of accessibility is mandatory for appropriate selection of indication. Using a navigation system, we examined the inferior limit through the endonasal route and evaluated the relationships between surrounding anatomicl structures and the lowest point. Methods: This study included patients who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for intrasellar lesions at our hospital (N = 23). At the start of surgery, the lowest point (target point [TP]) was marked with a straight probe under guidance of the navigation system. We measured 4 parameters on preoperative computed tomography: nasal length, hard palate length, anterior-posterior diameter of the nasopharynx, and nasopalatine angle. Patients were classified into groups depending on whether the TP was at or above (group A) or below (group B) the hard palatine line. Results: TPs were above the hard palatine line in 15 patients (group A) and below the hard palatine line in 8 patients (group B). No TPs reached the nasopalatine line. Nasal length (P = 0.03) and nasopalatine angle (P = 0.01) were larger in group B than in group A. There were no significant differences in anterior-posterior diameter of the nasopharynx or hard palate length. Conclusions: The hard palatine line is a reliable parameter for assessing the inferior limit of the endoscopic endonasal approach. Nostril size affects accessibility with surgical instruments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology