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Original Article
June 2001

The Transglabellar/Subcranial Approach to the Anterior Skull Base: A Review of 72 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse (Dr Kellman), and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Marentette).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(6):687-690. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.6.687

Objectives  To describe the transglabellar/subcranial approach to the anterior skull base and to compare it with more traditional approaches to craniofacial resection.

Design  A retrospective analysis of 72 cases at 2 academic medical centers. The main parameters analyzed were the disease entities treated, the average operating room time, the average amount of blood loss, the number of transfusions, the length of intensive care unit and hospital stays, and complication rates. These were compared with published data for traditional craniofacial approaches.

Setting  All patients were operated on by the authors in collaboration with neurosurgical teams at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, and the University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor.

Patients  The transglabellar/subcranial approach was performed 72 times in 69 patients in this series. Forty-two procedures in 40 patients were performed for malignant disease and 30 procedures in 29 patients were performed for benign entities. Patients' ages ranged from 2 to 78 years. Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 4 years, with a minimum follow-up of 1 year for survivors.

Results  There were no operative mortalities. Operating time, average amount of blood loss, length of hospital and intensive care unit stays, and complication rates compared favorably with published results of traditional craniofacial resections.

Conclusions  The transglabellar/subcranial approach to the anterior skull base may be a reasonable technique for the surgical management of lesions in the region of the anterior skull base. It provides excellent exposure of the nasal cavity, the orbits, and the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses, while allowing wide access to the anterior fossa with a minimum amount of frontal lobe retraction.