Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Chondrosarcomas of the skull base and temporal bone

  • L R Lustig (a1), J Sciubba (a2) and M J Holliday (a2)

To evaluate the clinical presentation and outcomes of treatment for patients with chondrosarcomas involving the skull base and temporal bone.

Study design:

Retrospective review.


Tertiary medical centre.


Cases of histologically confirmed chondrosarcoma involving the skull base and temporal bones.



Main outcome measures:

Demographic features of presenting patients; presenting symptoms and signs; surgical approach employed; use of post-operative radiation therapy; histological grade of tumour; and interval of post-operative follow up.

Results: Twelve patients were identified with chondrosarcomas involving the skull base, with post-operative follow up ranging from three to 33 years. The average age at presentation was 42 years. The most common presenting symptoms were diplopia, decreased visual acuity and headaches. Five of the 12 patients required multiple surgical procedures.


Patients with chondrosarcoma involving the skull base and temporal bone may present in a variety of ways. Surgical resection, even subtotal, in combination with radiation therapy, can often provide good tumour control over many years for these rare tumours.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Lawrence R Lustig, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, 400 Parnassus Avenue, A746, Box 0342, San Francisco, CA 94143-0342, USA. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2Y Berkmen , E Blatt . Cranial and intracranial cartilaginous tumours. Clin Radiol 1968;19:327–33

4A Rosenberg , P Nielsen , SB Keel , LG Renard , MM Fitzek , JE Munzenrider Chondrosarcomas of the base of skull. Am J Surg Path 1999;23:1370–8

6AB Adegbite , JD McQueen , KW Paine , B Rozdilsky . Primary intracranial chondrosarcoma: a report of two cases. Neurosurgery 1985;17:490–4

7MD Coltrera , PB Googe , TJ Harrist , VJ Hyams , AL Schiller , ML Goodman . Chondrosarcoma of the temporal bone. Diagnosis and treatment of 13 cases and review of the literature. Cancer 1986;58:2689–96

8PM Naufal . Primary sarcomas of the temporal bone. Arch Otolaryngol 1973;98:4450

9DP Lau , SB Wharton , NM Antoun , ID Bottrill , DA Moffat . Chondrosarcoma of the petrous apex. Dilemmas in diagnosis and treatment. J Laryngol Otol 1997;111:368–71

11BB Burkey , HT Hoffman , SR Baker , AF Thornton , KD McClatchey . Chondrosarcoma of the head and neck. Laryngoscope 1990;100:1301–5

14A Korten , H ter Berg , G Spincemaille , der van R Laan , de Van A Wel . Intracranial chondrosarcoma: review of the literature and report of 15 cases. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1988;65:8892

16BB Koch , LH Karnell , HT Hoffman , LW Apostolakis , RA Robinson , W Zhen National cancer database report on chondrosarcoma of the head and neck. Head Neck 2000;22:408–25

17JF Kveton , DE Brackmann , ME Glasscock 3rd, WF House , WE Hitselberger . Chondrosarcoma of the skull base. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1986;94:2332

18NJ Volpe , NJ Liebsch , JE Munzenrider , S Lessell . Neuro-ophthalmologic findings in chordoma and chondrosarcoma of the skull base. Am J Ophthalmol 1993;115:97104

20DS Sheth , AW Yasko , ME Johnson , AG Ayala , JA Murray , MM Romsdahl . Chondrosarcoma of the pelvis. Prognostic factors for 67 patients treated with definitive surgery. Cancer 1996;78:745–50

21U Fisch . Infratemporal fossa approach to tumours of the temporal bone and base of the skull. J Laryngol Otol 1978;92:949–67

22O Al-Mefty , JL Fox , A Rifai , RR Smith . A combined infratemporal and posterior fossa approach for the removal of giant glomus tumors and chondrosarcomas. Surg Neurol 1987;28:423–31

23NH Blevins , RK Jackler , MJ Kaplan , PH Gutin . Combined transpetrosal-subtemporal craniotomy for clival tumors with extension into the posterior fossa. Laryngoscope 1995;105:975–82

25LN Sekhar , VL Schramm Jr, NF Jones . Subtemporal-preauricular infratemporal fossa approach to large lateral and posterior cranial base neoplasms. J Neurosurg 1987;67:488–99

26M Samii , M Ammirati . The combined supra-infratentorial pre-sigmoid sinus avenue to the petro-clival region. Surgical technique and clinical applications. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1988;95:612

27AK Lalwani , MJ Kaplan , PH Gutin . The transsphenoethmoid approach to the sphenoid sinus and clivus. Neurosurgery 1992;31:1008–14

28M Ammirati , J Ma , ML Cheatham , ZT Mei , J Bloch , DP Becker . The mandibular swing-transcervical approach to the skull base: anatomical study. Technical note. J Neurosurg 1993;78:673–81

29HA Crockard , T Steel , N Plowman , A Singh , J Crossman , T Revesz A multidisciplinary team approach to skull base chondrosarcomas. J Neurosurg 2001;95:175–83

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *