Current surgical outcomes for cranial base chordomas: Cohort study of 95 patients

Salvatore Di Maio, Robert C. Rostomily, Laligam N. Sekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background: Chordomas of the skull base are locally aggressive neoplasms for which maximal surgical resection confers prolonged survival. Objective: To present the largest consecutive surgical series of cranial base chordomas to date, including complications, functional outcome, and overall (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) in early and late eras of our experience. Methods: From 1988 to 2011, 95 patients with cranial base chordomas were treated, including 56 patients from 1988 to 1999 and 39 from 2000 to 2011. Mean age and average follow-up were 42.6 ± 16.8 years and 38.3 ± 38.5 months, respectively. A historically controlled study design was implemented comparing both eras with respect to 5-year OS, RFS, Karnofsky performance scale at last-follow-up, and complications. Results: Mean 5-year OS and RFS for the entire cohort was 74% ± 6% and 56% ± 8%, respectively. Complete resection rates were similar between groups (68% and 74%, respectively; P = .494). In the 2000 to 2011 era, overall (26%), cranial nerve (10%), vascular (3%), and systemic (0%) complications were less frequent than in the 1988 to 1999 era. Patients in the 2000 to 2011 era were 1.50 times more likely to have a Karnofsky performance scale ≥70 than in the 1988 to 1999 era (95% confidence interval 1.15-1.94; P = .003). There was no significant difference in 5-year RFS between the 1988 to 1999 and 2000 to 2011 eras. Five-year OS was higher in the 2000 to 2011 era (93% ± 6% vs 64% ± 8% for the 1988-1999 era; P = .012). Conclusion: Aggressive surgical resection implementing contemporary skull base approaches can be performed with an acceptable complication profile with preservation of functional status, while conferring a similar OS and RFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1360
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Chordoma
  • Microsurgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Skull base neoplasms
  • Skull base surgery
  • Surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Current surgical outcomes for cranial base chordomas: Cohort study of 95 patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this