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Skull base surgery. 1991 April; 1(2): 110–116.
PMCID: PMC1656321

The Lateral Skull Base

A Vascular Perspective with Clinical Implications


The growing number of options in the surgical management of skull base disease has renewed interest in the microvascular anatomy of the lateral temporal region. We studied this anatomy by injecting colored solutions of methyl methacrylate into the major blood vessels of six human cadaver heads or selectively into their major branches. We used several techniques to see the vascular anatomy and to study its relationship to the layers of the scalp. Results revealed that every anatomically named blood vessel was accompanied by a finer, deeper blood vessel supplying the periosteum and outer table of the skull. These vessels arborized into a network of capillaries in the periosteum adherent to the outer bony cortex, from which we saw tiny perforators entering bone. This layered blood supply has direct implications for both ablative and reconstructive surgery for skull base disease. We also saw a previously undescribed arterial plexus accompanying the commonly described venous plexus in the infratemporal fossa.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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