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Author Notes:

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sarah K. Wise, M.D., Emory University Sinus Nasal and Allergy Center, 550 Peachtree St., MOT 9th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30308 E-mail address: skmille@emory.edu



  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology

Incidental sinonasal findings identified during preoperative evaluation for endoscopic transsphenoidal approaches


Journal Title:

American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy


Volume 27, Number 3


, Pages 202-205

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: The endoscopic transsphenoidal approach (eTSA) to lesions of the sellar region is typically performed jointly by neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists. Occasionally, the approach is significantly altered by sinonasal disease, anatomic variants, or previous surgery. However, there are no current guidelines that describe which physical or radiological findings should prompt a change in the plan of care. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of sinonasal pathology or anatomic variants noted endoscopically or by imaging that altered preoperative or intraoperative management. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 355 consecutive patients who underwent combined neurosurgery- otolaryngology endoscopic sella approach from August 1, 2007 to April 1, 2011. Our practice in these patients involves preoperative otolaryngology clinical evaluation and MRI review. Intraoperative image guidance is not routinely used in uncomplicated eTSA. Results: The most common management alteration was the addition of image guidance based on anatomic variants on MRI, which occurred in 81 patients (35.0%). Eight patients (2.9%) were preoperatively treated with antibiotics and surgery was postponed secondary to acute or chronic purulent rhinosinusitis; two (0.7%) required functional endoscopic sinus surgery for medically refractory disease before eTSA. Five patients (1.8%) required anterior septoplasty intraoperatively for severe nasal septal deviation. Two patients (0.7%) had inverted papilloma and one patient had esthesioneuroblastoma identified preoperatively during rigid nasal endoscopy. Conclusion: This is one of the larger reviews of patients undergoing eTSA for sellar lesions and the only study that describes how intraoperative management may be altered by preoperative sinonasal evaluation. We found a significant incidence of sinonasal pathology and anatomic variants that altered routine operative planning; therefore, a thorough sinonasal evaluation is warranted in these cases.

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© 2013, OceanSide Publications, Inc., U.S.A.

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