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Video Abstract

Combined petrosal approach for resection of petroclival chondrosarcoma: Microsurgical 2-D video

Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, United States.
Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, United States.
Corresponding author: Miguel Angel Lopez-Gonzalez, Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda 92354, California, United States.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Lopez-Gonzalez MA, Eastin TM, Ramanathan D, Minwoo S, Choudhury B. Combined petrosal approach for resection of petroclival chondrosarcoma: Microsurgical 2-D video. Surg Neurol Int 2020;11:102.



Petroclival lesions pose a significant neurosurgical challenge due to involvement or close proximity to important neurovascular structures. Chondrosarcomas are rare lesions that can affect these areas.

Case Description:

A 24-year-old male with 3 months history of poor coordination, imbalance, left-sided face hypoesthesia, facial palsy House-Brackmann Grade 2, and 6th cranial nerve palsy with diplopia. Hearing was preserved. Preoperative images showed a 5.5 cm multilobulated enhancing extra-axial mass centered in the left petroclival region with extension into middle and posterior fossa causing severe (Stage 3) brainstem compression.[1] After a lengthy discussion of treatment options, the patient consented for the procedure. We performed a presigmoid retrolabyrinthine combined petrosal approach. We used cranial nerves monitoring (VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII), frameless stereotaxy, and a lumbar drain. Due to the tumor size and location (petroclival region with extension into the posterior and middle cranial fossa), we chose this approach to achieve a maximal safe resection of the tumor and preserve hearing. Alternative approaches of use are expanded middle fossa with transcavernous extension or expanded endonasal approach. The selected approach achieved wide exposure of the tumor which was highly vascular. The tumor was carefully dissected off the brainstem, cranial nerves (IV, V, VI, VII, VIII), and basilar artery trunk. A gross total resection was achieved (Multimedia 1). The patient did well after surgery and was extubated on postoperative day (POD) 1 and the lumbar drain removed on POD 5. Pathology reported low-grade chondrosarcoma (WHO grade I). At 3 months follow-up, the patient improved neurologically, including facial nerve weakness (House-Brackmann Grade 1) except for his left 6th cranial nerve palsy which mildly improved.


Petroclival chondrosarcomas are rare tumors that are usually treated with surgical resection followed by stereotactic radiosurgery. The tumor size, location, and extension dictate approach selection. For lesions involving the petroclival region with extension into the middle fossa and posterior fossa, the combined petrosal approach is reasonable.


1) 0:00:00 – Clinical presentation

2) 0:00:19 – Positioning

3) 0:00:25 – Petrosal approach

4) 0:01:17 – Superior petrosal sinus section and tentorium section

5) 0:02:54 – Tumor resection

6) 0:04:25 – Closure

7) 0:04:33 – Pathology and outcome


We sincerely appreciate the artistic work for figures by Jennifer Pryll.

[Video 1]-Available on:

Declaration of patient consent

Patient’s consent not obtained as patients identity is not disclosed or compromised.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  1. , , , , , , . Petroclival chondrosarcoma: A multicenter review of 55 cases and new staging system. Otol Neurotol. 2016;37:940-50.
    [Google Scholar]

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