Objective: The anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA), during which the trigeminal nerve (TN) is manipulated, has a risk of eliciting the trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR). The aim of this study was to assess the risk of TCR during ATPA. Methods: Surgical records of 92 patients who had surgical treatment via ATPA at the Keio University Hospital between December 2005 and June 2015 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into 2 groups on the basis of the occurrence of TCR during surgery, and clinical and tumor characteristics were compared. Tumor characteristics were evaluated based on preoperative images and intraoperative findings and included the side of the lesion, size of the lesion, tumor size in Meckel cave, pathology of the disease, cavernous sinus invasion, extension into Meckel cave, and adhesion of lesion to TN. Results: TCR was observed in 14 of 92 patients (15.2%). TCR occurrence was significantly related to Meckel cave tumor size (P = 0.0264) and adhesion of the lesion to TN (P = 0.0002). Conclusions: This study suggests that TCR is related to Meckel cave tumor size and tumor adhesion to TN in ATPA. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing TCR during ATPA.
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