Endoscopic endonasal management of recurrent petrous apex cholesterol granuloma

McLaughlin Nancy, Daniel F. Kelly, Daniel M. Prevedello, Kiarash Shahlaie, Ricardo L. Carrau, Amin B. Kassam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Petrous apex cholesterol granulomas (PACGs) are uncommon lesions. Recurrence following transcranial or endonasal approaches to aerate the cyst occurs in up to 60% of cases. We describe the technical nuances pertinent to the endonasal endoscopic management of a recurrent symptomatic PACG and review the literature. Results: A 19-year-old woman presented with a recurrent abducens nerve paresis. Four months prior, she underwent an endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for drainage of a symptomatic PACG. Current imaging documented recurrence of the right PACG. Transsphenoidal and infrapetrous approaches were performed to obtain a wider bony opening along the petrous apex and drain the cyst. A Doyle splint was inserted into the cyst's cavity and extended out into the sphenoid sinus, maintaining patency during the healing process. Three months after surgery, the splint was removed endoscopically, allowing visualization of a patent cylindrical communication between both aerated cavities. The patient remains symptom-free and recurrence-free. Conclusion: Endoscopic endonasal surgery must be adapted to manage a recurrent PACG. A TSS may not be suf ficient. An infrapetrous approach with wider bony opening, extensive removal of the cyst's anterior wall, and the use of a stent are indicated for the treatment of recurrent PACG and to prevent recurrences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol granuloma
  • Endoscopy
  • Expanded endonasal approach
  • Petrous apex
  • Transsphenoidal approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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