Transorbital endoscopic approaches to the skull base: a systematic literature review and anatomical description.

Vural A. , Carobbio A. L. C. , Ferrari M., Rampinelli V., Schreiber A., Mattavelli D., ...More

Neurosurgical review, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10143-020-01470-5
  • Title of Journal : Neurosurgical review
  • Keywords: Endoscopy, Neuroendoscopy, Transorbital, Orbit, Skull base


Transorbital endoscopic approaches are increasing in popularity as they provide corridors to reach various areas of the ventral skull base through the orbit. They can be used either alone or in combination with different approaches when dealing with the pathologies of the skull base. The objective of the current study is to evaluate the surgical anatomy of transorbital endoscopic approaches by cadaver dissections as well as providing objective clinical data on their actual employment and morbidity through a systematic review of the current literature. Four cadaveric specimens were dissected, and step-by-step dissection of each endoscopic transorbital approach was performed to identify the main anatomic landmarks and corridors. A systematic review with pooled analysis of the current literature from January 2000 to April 2020 was performed and the related studies were analyzed. Main anatomical landmarks are presented based on the anatomical study and systematic review of the literature. With emphasis on the specific transorbital approach used, indications, surgical technique, and complications are reviewed through the systematic review of 42 studies (19 in vivo and 23 anatomical dissections) including 193 patients. In conclusion, transorbital endoscopic approaches are promising and appear as feasible techniques for the surgical treatment of skull base lesions. Surgical anatomy of transorbital endoscopic approaches can be mastered through knowledge of a number of anatomical landmarks. Based on data available in the literature, transorbital endoscopic approaches represent an important complementary that should be included in the armamentarium of a skull base team.