Symptomatic Cerebral Vasospasm After Transsphenoidal Tumor Resection: Two Case Reports and Systematic Literature Review.Cureus. 2020 May 17; 12(5):e8171.C
Cerebral vasospasm is a rare life-threatening complication of transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). We report our experience with two cases of symptomatic vasospasm after endoscopic TSS, alongside a systematic review of published cases. Two patients who underwent endoscopic TSS for resection of a tuberculum sella meningioma (case 1) and pituitary adenoma (case 2) developed symptomatic vasospasm. Clinical variables, including demographics, histopathology, the extent of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), diabetes insipidus (DI), day of vasospasm, vasospasm symptoms, vessels involved, management, and clinical outcome, were retrospectively extracted. We subsequently reviewed published cases of symptomatic post-TSS vasospasm. Including our two cases, we identified 34 reported cases of TSS complicated by symptomatic vasospasm. Female patients accounted for 20 (58.8%) of 34 cases. The average age was 48.1 ± 12.9 years. The majority of patients exhibited postoperative SAH (70.6%). The average delay to vasospasm presentation was 8.5 ± 3.6 days. The majority of patients exhibited vasospasm in multiple vessels, typically involving the anterior circulation. Hemodynamic augmentation with hemodilution, hypertension, and hypervolemia was the most common treatment. Death occurred in six (17.6%) of 34 patients. Common deficits included residual extremity weakness (17.6%), pituitary insufficiency (8.8%), and cognitive deficits (8.8%). Symptomatic vasospasm is a rare, potentially fatal complication of TSS. The most consistent risk factor is SAH. Early diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion when confronted with intractable DI, acute mental status change, or focal deficits in the days after TSS. Morbidity and death are significant risks in patients with this complication.