Introduction  A low subfrontal dural opening technique that limits brain manipulation was assessed in patients who underwent frontotemporal approaches for anterior fossa lesions. Methods  A retrospective review was performed for cases using a low subfrontal dural opening including characterization of demographics, lesion size and location, neurological and ophthalmological assessments, clinical course, and imaging findings. Results  A low subfrontal dural opening was performed in 23 patients (17F, 6M), median age of 53 years (range 23-81) with a median follow-up duration of 21.9 months (range 6.2-67.1). Lesions included 22 meningiomas (nine anterior clinoid, 12 tuberculum sellae, and one sphenoid wing), one unruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm clipped during a meningioma resection, and one optic nerve cavernous malformation. Maximal possible resection was achieved in all cases including gross total resection in 16/22 (72.7%), near total in 1/22 (4.5%), and subtotal in 5/22 (22.7%) in which tumor involvement of critical structures limited complete resection. Eighteen patients presented with vision loss; 11 (61%) improved postoperatively, three (17%) were stable, and four (22%) worsened. The mean ICU stay and time to discharge were 1.3 days (range 0-3) and 3.8 days (range 2-8). Conclusion  A low sub-frontal dural opening for approaches to the anterior fossa can be performed with minimal brain exposure, early visualization of the optico-carotid cistern for cerebrospinal fluid release, minimizing need for fixed brain retraction, and Sylvian fissure dissection. This technique can potentially reduce surgical risk and provide excellent exposure for anterior skull base lesions with favorable extent of resection, visual recovery, and complication rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2022


  • anterior fossa
  • skull base


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