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Beijing Tiantan Hospital Neurosurgery Center (BTHNC) is the most renowned neurosurgical center in China. In the early 1980s, after 30 years of hard work, Dr. Wang Chungcheng, a principal pioneer of neurosurgery in China, founded Beijing Tiantan Hospital for the purpose of establishing the Department of Neurosurgery. Since then, BTHNC has become the largest neurosurgical center in China.

Clinicians and scientists in the departments of neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology, and the Brain Research Institute work together toward the discovery and cure of diseases of the central nervous system. It is also the most important neurosurgical training center for neurosurgery in China.

The Division of Neurosurgery carries a continuing commitment to provide excellence in leadership in the major disciplines of neurosurgery in the full range of adult and pediatric neurological surgery specialty services. Neurosurgical Centers of Excellence have been established in the areas of brain tumors (brainstem and skull base tumor, glioma, meningioma, pituitary adenoma), cerebral vascular diseases, pediatric neurosurgery, stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, spinal tumor surgery, and brain Injury. The annual number of brain surgery increased continuously, and exceeding 7000 after 2005. The annual number of outpatient clinic visit is more than 70,000. The faculty consists of 45 full-time senior professors covering the full range of neurosurgical clinical practice and basic research.

DIVISIONS OF NEUROSURGERY BRAINSTEM AND SKULLBASE TUMOR SUBDIVISION: Many intra-brainstem tumors once regarded as inoperable such as cavernous malformations, hemangioblastomas, ependymomas, ganglial gliomas, have been surgically treated with favorable outcomes. Hundreds of cases have been reported in published papers. With an ever-expanding knowledge of skullbase tumor microanatomy and physiology, intraoperative electrophysiology monitoring, and multidisciplinary cooperation, the outcome of skullbase tumors has improved greatly. The anatomic preservation rate of the facial nerve in giant acoustic neuromas has reached 98% with a total resection rate of 93%. Yearly, hundreds of meningiomas invading the cavernous sinus, medial sphenoid ridge, clivus, postpetrous, and foramen magnum are surgically treated with favorable results. Trigeminal neuromas, chordomas, chondrosarcomas, and many other skullbase tumors are also treated with positive outcomes.

CEREBRAL VASCULAR DISEASES SUBDIVISION: The largest surgical center of CVD in China. Annually, more than 300 cases of aneurysms and AVMs are surgically clipped or resected with very low morbidity and less than 1.5% mortality. Additionally, Moyamoya diseases, cavernous malformations, and internal carotid artery stenoses are treated surgically. The vascular surgeons cooperate with neuroendovascular physicians to treat complicated cases of aneurysms and AVMs, and they oftentimes regard the patient’s top interest as their only priority.

PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY SUBDIVISION: One of only a few neurosurgical divisions for children in China. Annually, 600 to 700 operations are performed to resect all types of brain and spinal tumors in children. For cases of craniopharyngioma, gross total resection are achieved in many, and long-term favorable outcome in most. For medulloblastomas, the combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy after surgery leads to 68% 5-year survival. Surgeries using the transcallosal-transfornixial approach have been performed for more than 500 patients with intra-third ventricle tumors (craniopharyngiomas, teratomas, and gliomas in the anterior, middle or posterior regions) with excellent tumor resection results and postoperative quality of life. The combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy provides excellent tumor control in both short-term and long-term treatment of germinomas.

SUPRATENTORIAL TUMOR SUBDIVSION: Provides surgical treatment of meningiomas, gliomas, craniopharyngiomas, and other brain tumors.

GLIOMA TREATMENT SUBDIVISION: Comprehensive treatments are employed in the treatment of gliomas. Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy are carried out for select patients. Although the treatment of malignant tumors, such as multiform glioblastomas, has undergone some advancement, it still poses a big challenge. Yearly, more than 700 patients receive treatment in this division.

PITUITARY ADENOMA TREATMENT SUBDIVISION: Annually, more than 500 patients undergo surgical resection and more than 5000 visit the outpatient clinic. Individualized plans, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, are offered according to the tumor subtype and the patients’ need.

FUNCTIONAL AND EPILEPSY SUBDIVISION: Surgery to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy have been conducted for more than 20 years. Currently, deep brain stimulators are implanted monolaterally or bilaterally in tens of cases yearly. Hundreds of refractory epilepsy are cured through surgical approaches.

NEUROENDOSCOPY SUBDIVISION: Neuroendoscopy is used widely in the resection of pituitary adenomas, suprasellar and intraventricular cysts, and hydrocephalus treatment. More than 1500 cases have received this minimally invasive service in the past ten years.

BRAIN INJURY SUBDIVISION: Yearly, 700-900 brain injury cases, oftentimes severe, are transferred to this unit. The use of hypothermia, intracranial monitoring, and many other facilities are employed to rescue patients. Mortality and severe morbidity have dropped to a reasonable level. Computer-assisted 3-dimensionally-shaped titanium-alloy plates that fix skull defects lead to some extent to cosmetic symmetry and neurological improvement.

SPINAL TUMOR SUBDIVISION: Operations to remove intramedullary tumors, such as ependymomas and astrocytomas, and extramedullary tumors, such as neurofibromas and meningiomas, are the main tasks of this unit. Yearly, more than 400 cases of tumors undergo resection. Additionally, some craniocervical junction malformations, such as Chiari malformations, are treated surgically.

BRANCHES AND COLLABORATIVE CENTERS: BTHNC has established 2 clinical branches in Beijing and 10 collaborative neurosurgical centers all over China. These centers allow more than 1000 patients each year to benefit from the expertise of Tiantan’s neurosurgical faculty while being treated in the comfort and convenience of a local hospital. These outreach efforts also promote the advancement of neurosurgerical technique in local hospitals.

Facilities which directly support the Neurosurgical Centers of Excellence: Operation Rooms: newly rebuilt in 2003, accommodates 15 high quality units for neurosurgery. Neurosurgical ICU: equipped for vital physiological and intensive brain monitoring techniques (including transcranial Doppler, cerebral metabolism). Neuronavigation System and Real time ultrasound monitoring, open MRI. Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring: routine for skullbase, intramedullary, epilepsy surgeries. Intraoperative Angiogram: DSA and Indocyaninegreen (ICG) angiogram Neuroimaging center: 4 sets of MRI (3.0 telsa), 4 sets of CT, 2 sets of DSA, ECT, and Magnetic Encephalogram (MEG) units. PACS: Since 2002 the results of all labs and imaging studies in the clinic are available anywhere in hospital through intranet. It also serves the administration and enables all resources to run more efficiently.

NEUROVASCULAR INTERVENTION UNIT: Most famous neurovascular intervention unit in China since its founding in the 1980s. Currently, about 1000 patients undergo interventional diagnosis and treatment each year. In addition to the embolization of aneurysms, vascular malformations and fistulas, it also uses stents for ischemic stroke.

RADIOTHERAPY CENTER: Gamma knife radiosurgery has been employed since 1994. In the past 5 years, more than 1000 patients undergo GKR annually. It shows excellent tumor control in pituitary adenomas, acoustic neuromas, skullbase meningiomas, and brain metastatic tumors. Conventional radiotherapy is also available at this center. Germinoma and medulloblastoma patients receive a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

RESEARCH CENTER: BEIJING NEUROSURGICAL INSTITUTE: Founded in 1960, includes research departments in microanatomy, neurotransmission, neuroendocrinology, neural injury and repair, neural stem cells, neurobiology, and cerebral vascular disease as well as a state-certified lab animal center.

ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION: Yearly, many world-renowned neurosurgeons visit this institution, such as. Drs. Law, A. L. Rhoton, R. Spetzler, J. Ausman, Suzuki, V. Dolenc, Samii, A. Perneczky, Bason, Atos, etc. Annually, BTHNC hosts national conventions of neurosurgery and continuous training courses in microanatomy, surgical technique, new concepts of neurosurgery, etc. Hundreds of participants from all over China attend.

RESIDENCY AND FELLOWSHIP TRAINING: Yearly, about 20 residents and more than 100 neurosurgeons from all over China receive their training and fellowship at BTHNC.

Department of Neurosurgery at Beijing Tiantan Hospital
Capital University of Medical Sciences,
6 Tiantan Xili, Chongwen District, Beijing,
100050, People’s Republic of China
TELEPHONE: 86-10-67096523, 86-10-67098431
FAX: 86-10-65113440, 86-10-67051377
Website:, or
Located in downtown Beijing with convenient transportation to the airport (35 km from Beijing Capital Intl Airport), railway station and bus stop. It is 3 km south of Tiananmen Square, southwest of the Temple of Heaven, and east of Xiannongtan Stadium.
Acknowledgement to Ms. Carol Chen for her excellent editing.