Lateral Supraorbital Versus Pterional Approach: Analysis of Surgical, Functional, and Patient-Oriented Outcomes

Giuseppe La Rocca, Giuseppe Maria Della Pepa, Carmelo Lucio Sturiale, Giovanni Sabatino, Anna Maria Auricchio, Alfredo Puca, Alessandro Olivi, Enrico Marchese, Alessio Albanese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Recently, the lateral supraorbital (LSO) keyhole variant of the standard pterional (PT) approach has been popularized for anterior skull base surgery, because it provides good anatomic exposition, reduced complications, and better aesthetic and functional results. However, these aspects have been formally compared only by a limited number of studies. We reviewed our experience with 50 consecutive anterior communicating artery (AComA) and A1/A2 aneurysms. Of these 50 patients, 25 had undergone the standard PT approach and 25, the LSO variant. We report the results in terms of exclusion of the aneurysm, postoperative complications, functional/masticatory outcomes, and aesthetic and patient satisfaction. Methods: From January 2014 to December 2015, 25 patients with unruptured AComA and A1/A2 aneurysms underwent the standard PT craniotomy. From January 2016 to March 2017, another 25 patients underwent the LSO technique. Results: No statistically significant differences were observed in the aneurysmal exclusion rate at angiographic follow-up or major complications. A statistically significant difference in the clinical outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale) was evident only for the immediate postoperative time and was not significant during the follow-up period. The hospital stay was shorter in the LSO group. Minor complications, patient satisfaction, aesthetics, and functional and masticatory outcomes were significantly better statistically in the LSO group. Conclusions: The LSO approach demonstrated a lower rate of early clinical minor complications, with a reduction in hospitalization. The LSO approach provides better results for patient satisfaction, masticatory comfort, and cosmetic results. In our experience, the LSO approach is a safe and effective substitute to the standard PT craniotomy to treat unruptured AComA and A1/A2 aneurysms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e192-e199
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Keyhole approach
  • Lateral supraorbital approach
  • Pterional approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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