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Chordoma and Chondrosarcoma

Last Updated: February 18, 2020

Petroclival Chondrosarcoma: Endoscopic Endonasal Transclival Transpetrosal Approach

Chordomas are locally aggressive tumors derived from the notochordal remnants, and therefore they generally present along the midline axial structures. The majority of chordomas are within the vertebral column or sacrococcygeal region, and one-third involve the sphenoid occiput. In contrast, chondrosarcomas are indolent cartilaginous paramidline masses which are generally low grade. Chordomas and chondrosarcomas are commonly discussed together because of their similarities in presentation, relevant skull base anatomy, and management strategies.

Chordomas of the cranial base are commonly extradural, deriving from the clivus centrally, but rare intradural extension is possible. Chondrosarcomas originate along the paramedian central skull base from embryonic mesenchymal remnants and occupy the petrosphenoclival junction, with the majority centered at the temporo-occipital junction.

Both chordomas and chondrosarcomas are rare lesions and represent less than 1% of all intracranial tumors. Metastasis is possible and is associated with advanced local d...

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