Supraorbital Keyhole Craniotomy via Eyebrow Incision: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Zoe M. Robinow, Catherine Peterson, Ben Waldau, Kiarash Shahlaie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Supraorbital eyebrow keyhole craniotomy is a minimally invasive alternative to a frontotemporal craniotomy and is often used for tumor resection and aneurysm clipping. The purpose of this study is to provide a contemporary review on the outcomes related to this approach and to determine whether they vary with the type of pathology and the addition of an endoscope. Methods: PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases were systematically searched, and results were reported according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. For the meta-analysis portion, the DerSimonian–Laird random effects model was used. Results: A total of 2629 manuscripts were identified. of those, 124 studies (8241 surgical cases) met the inclusion criteria. Mean total complication rate was 26.7 ± 25.7% and the mean approach-related mortality rate was 1.3 ± 2.8%. Technical success, defined as gross total tumor resection or complete aneurysm clipping, was achieved in 83.6 ± 21.5% of the cases. Vascular pathologies were associated with greater technical success, lower total complications, and longer length of hospital stay compared with tumor cases (P < 0.05 for all). For vascular cases, addition of the endoscope yielded lower technical success (P = 0.001) and lower complication rate (P = 0.041). The use of the endoscope for tumor pathologies did not affect technical success, complications, mortality, length of hospital stay, operative time, or reoperation rate (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The supraorbital craniotomy via an eyebrow incision is a feasible minimally invasive approach with an overall high technical success rate for both vascular and tumor pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Eyebrow
  • Keyhole
  • Superciliary
  • Supraorbital craniotomy
  • Transciliary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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