Pterional craniotomy (PT) has long been the standard approach for the treatment of middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms, even though it may cause temporalis muscle atrophy, facial nerve injury, and masticatory difficulties. Minipterional craniotomy (MPT) is an alternative approach that may provide the same surgical corridor, limiting the risk of postoperative esthetic and functional complications. From January 2011 to December 2014 we consecutively performed 68 craniotomies for surgical treatment of unruptured MCA aneuryms: 37 were standard PT and 31 were MPT. There were no significant differences in mean age, sex, and aneurysm topography between the two groups. The mean skin incision length was 14 cm in the PT group and 6 cm in the MPT group. According to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) and modified Rankin Scale (mRS), there were no significant differences in clinical outcome at discharge or follow-up between the two groups. Also, the rates of complete aneurysm exclusion were comparable. However, the number of patients complaining of masticatory disorders was higher among those treated with PT. Finally, the number of complications observed in the PT group was higher than that in the MPT group, but only the differences in mean hospitalization length and necessity for a dural patch for reconstruction were statistically significant. In conclusion, the MPT approach is a safe and effective alternative to the standard PT for the treatment of unruptured MCA aneurysms.
- Aneurysm clipping
- Middle cerebral artery aneurysm