ISSN 1308-7649 | E-ISSN 2148-3817
Cholesterol Granulomas: A Comparative Meta-Analysis of Endonasal Endoscopic versus Open Approaches to the Petrous Apex
1 Division of Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery - Otology and Neurotology, University of Montreal Hospital Center (CHUM), Montreal, Quebec, Canada  
2 University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada  
J Int Adv Otol 2019; 15: 193-199
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2019.5859
Key Words: Petrous apex, cholesterol granuloma, infralabyrinthine, infracochlear, middle fossa, suboccipital, translabyrinthine, endonasal


Petrous apex cholesterol granulomas (PACG) are rare disorders that can lead to patient morbidity and must, occasionally, be drained by either endoscopic endonasal (EN) or open procedures (OP). The objective of our study was to complete a review of the literature to compare the EN and OP approaches on multiple levels, notably on safety and effectiveness. Ovid MEDLINE and Embase were used to perform a thorough literature review of all cases of PACG treated by either EN or OP dating from January 1948 to August 2017. In total, 49 articles were selected including 23 for EN (n=76) and 26 for OP (n=210). Differences were found in the incidence of preoperative hearing loss (HL) (EN 18.4%, OP 57.3%; p<0.001), headache (EN 48.7%, OP 31.2%; p=0.007), and disequilibrium (EN: 14.5%, OP 26.1%; p=0.04). Differences in lesion proximity to the sphenoid sinus (EN 23.6%, OP: 1.0%; p<0.001), clivus (EN 11.8%, OP 4.7%; p=0.03), otic capsule (EN 0.0%, OP 5.2%; p=0.03), internal auditory canal (EN 2.6%, OP 10.9%; p=0.01), and internal carotid artery (ICA) (EN 9.2%, OP 2.8%; p=0.02) were found on preoperative imaging. The EN procedure had better hearing improvement rates (EN 85.7%, OP 23.4%; p<0.001), lower complication rates (EN 7.9%, OP 17.6%; p=0.04), shorter median follow-up (EN:13.5 months, OP:37.2 months; p<0.001), and shorter time to recurrence (EN 3 months, OP 22.6 months; p=0.002) than the known OP. No differences were found in age, preoperative size, recurrence rate, operative time, stent placement, or improvement of other symptoms. Endoscopic nasal approaches, when feasible, should be favored to open procedures for PACG drainage given their better hearing improvement and less complication rates.


Cite this article as: Tabet P, Saydy N, Saliba I. Cholesterol Granulomas: A Comparative Meta-Analysis of Endonasal Endoscopic versus Open Approaches to the Petrous Apex. J Int Adv Otol 2019; 15(2): 193-9.

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