Anterior Skull Base Surgery in the 21st Century: The Role of Open Approaches

Sara Abu-Ghanem, Shahaf Shilo, Moshe Yehuda, Avraham Abergel, Ahmad Safadi, Dan M. Fliss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Treating malignant tumors of the anterior skull base (ASB) is a challenging task, given their late presentation, diverse histology, and involvement of an intricate anatomical space requiring complex surgery. Advances in imaging, gradual refinement of surgical and reconstruction techniques, and improvement of perioperative care during recent decades have resulted in improved clinical outcomes for patients. In addition, assessing functional outcomes and quality-of-life issues have become a fundamental part in the holistic care of patients with ASB tumors. Once dominated by open procedures, the modern field of skull base surgery is rapidly incorporating endoscopic techniques. These techniques have been previously reserved for sinonasal inflammatory diseases, but in recent years they have sequentially and increasingly been applied to more complex disorders. The list of indications includes intracranial pathologies and malignant sinonasal neoplasms with skull base involvement. Open ASB surgery in this new era is reserved for selected cases, yet it is still considered the "gold standard"for treating ASB malignancy. The paucity of evidence-based data regarding the management of ASB tumors is still a major limit of the discipline of ASB surgery, resulting from the rarity and high degree of heterogeneity of these tumors. Therefore, no guidelines exist and prospective large cohort collaborative studies are required in order to consolidate our knowledge of the behavior of each histology encountered, and to assess the clinical and quality-of-life outcomes of the different treatment modalities currently used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
StatePublished - 2020


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