Although removal of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) is essential surgical technique, studies about quantitative measurements of the space broadening by the anterior clinoidectomy are rare. The purposes of this study are to investigate the dimension of the ACP, to quantify the improved exposure of the parasellar space after extradural anterior clinoidectomy and to measure the correlation of each structure around the paraclinoidal area.
Eleven formalin-fixed Korean adult cadaveric heads were used and frontotemporal craniotomies were done bilaterally. The length of C6 segment of the internal carotid artery on its lateral and medial side and optic nerve length were checked before and after anterior clinoidectomy. The basal width and height of the ACP were measured. The relationships among the paraclinoidal structures were assessed. The origin and projection of the ophthalmic artery (OA) were investigated.
The mean values of intradural basal width and height of the ACP were 10.82 mm and 7.61 mm respectively. The mean length of the C6 lateral and medial side increased 49%. The mean length of optic nerve increased 97%. At the parasellar area, the lengths from the optic strut to the falciform liament, distal dural ring, origin of OA were 6.69 mm, 9.36 mm and 5.99 mm, respectively. The distance between CN III and IV was 11.06 mm.
With the removal of ACP, exposure of the C6 segments and optic nerve can expand 49% and 97%, respectively. This technique should be among a surgeon's essential skills for treating lesions around the parasellar area.
Anterior clinoid process; Extradural anterior clinoidectomy; Optic strut; Ophthalmic segment
Objective: To quantify and compare the carotico-oculomotor triangle (COT) area before and after extradural anterior clinoidectomy (AC). Methods: Ten cadaveric heads were dissected bilaterally. Before and after an extradural AC, the following points were measured: (1) the internal carotid artery (ICA) bifurcation to the tip of the anterior clinoid process (ACP) (A) and to the distal dural ring (A′), (2) the ICA bifurcation to the point where the oculomotor nerve becomes obscured by the tentorial fold (B) and to the porus oculomotoris after incision of the tentorial fold (B′), and (3) the tip of the ACP to the point where the oculomotor nerve becomes obscured by the tentorial incisura (C) and from the distal dural ring to the porus oculomotoris (C′). The area of the COT was calculated before and after AC (ΔABC and ΔA′B′C′, respectively). Results: The mean values were as follows: A: 9.15 ± 0.93 mm, A′: 13.45 ± 0.82 mm; B: 7.80 ± 1.24 mm, B′: 9.90 ± 1.21 mm; C: 7.15 ± 0.99 mm, C′: 9.3 ± 1.26 mm; ΔABC: 26.26 ± 6.05 mm2, ΔA′B′C′: 45.06 ± 8.92 mm2. Conclusions: Extradural AC enhances the exposure of the COT almost twofold. This increased exposure can be of significant help during resection of lesions of the parasellar and basilar apex regions.
Anterior clinoid; carotico-oculomotor triangle; clinoidectomy; extradural
Extradural anterior clinoidectomy via the trans-superior orbital fissure (SOF) approach can provide extensive exposure of the anterior clinoid process and safe drilling under direct view. This technique requires peeling of the dura propria of the temporal lobe from the lateral wall of the SOF. Therefore, cadaveric dissection is mandatory to acquire surgical technique. However, chances for cadaveric dissection are limited. We propose modification of our three-dimensional (3-D) skull base model made from surgically dissectable artificial bone with artificial cavernous sinus including multiple membranous layers and neurovascular structures to simulate extradural anterior clinoidectomy via the trans-SOF approach. The 3-D skull base model precisely reproduced the dura propria of the temporal lobe, periosteal bridge, and inner reticular layer in the cavernous sinus and SOF using silicone and varnish. The cranial nerves and blood vessels were made from rubber fibers and vinyl tube. Simulation of extradural anterior clinoidectomy via the trans-SOF approach could be performed on the model using a high-speed drill under the operating microscope. The steps of reconstruction of the skull base model and dissection promote clear understanding of the 3-D anatomy and techniques of extradural anterior clinoidectomy via the trans-SOF approach.
Anterior clinoid process; superior orbital fissure; cavernous sinus; anterior clinoidectomy; training model
Posterior clinoidectomy is a useful procedure for maximizing exposure to the interpeduncular cistern via transcranial approaches for basilar tip aneurysms and select intracranial tumors. The value of posterior clinoidectomy during endonasal endoscopic transclival surgery is not well described.
We performed endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal extradural bilateral posterior clinoidectomy and dorsum sella removal on five silicon-injected cadaveric heads. The dorsum sella was split in the midline and removed from medial to lateral until the posterior clinoids were encountered. The posterior clinoid was dissected from the medial wall of the cavernous sinus and mobilized medially in order to detach it from the ligaments and carefully fractured it from the bony attachment to the petrous apex and carotid canal. Following this, the clival and dorsum sella dura was opened to expose the interpeduncular cistern and its contents.
The technical feasibility of endoscopic endonasal extradural posterior clinoidectomy was reproduced in all five cadaveric specimens. This technique was performed without damaging the vital structures, including preservation of the pituitary gland. After performing bilateral posterior clinoidectomy, the retrosellar dura was opened, allowing good visualization of the contents of the prepontine and interpeduncular cistern.
We describe the technique of endoscopic endonasal extradural posterior clinoidectomy. We believe this approach is best suited for retrosellar pathology located in the interpeduncular cistern and is a useful adjunct to the transclival approach to increase the field of view and maximize the extent of resection.
Dorsum sella; endoscopic endonasal; extradural posterior clinoidectomy; interpeduncular cistern; posterior clinoid process; skull base
This anatomic study evaluated the extent that a fronto-orbital osteotomy (FOO) added to a bilateral frontal craniotomy widened the exposure to the midline compartment of the anterior, middle, and posterior cranial fossae. The goal was to determine if osteotomy would significantly increase angles for two targets: the foramen magnum (FM) and anterior clinoid process (ACP). Stepwise dissections were performed on five cadaveric heads. A bilateral frontal craniotomy was made, followed by FOO. After the ethmoids were removed, the planum sphenoidale was drilled to enter the sphenoid sinus. Further drilling exposed the anterior clivus, which was drilled down to FM. Excellent exposure of the basilar artery, vertebral artery, and brain stem was achieved. With and without FOO, angles of exposure were measured for two targets: the ACP and FM. The angle of exposure after FOO increased markedly with an average gain of 76% for the ACP and of 80% for FM. Compared with a conventional bifrontal craniotomy, the addition of FOO increased the surgical exposure and minimized frontal lobe retraction for accessing lesions of the anterior, middle, and posterior cranial fossae.
Brain tumor; extended frontal approach; operative approach; skull base; skull base tumor
The posterior clinoid process, a bony prominence at the superolateral aspect of the dorsum sellae, has a strategic importance in a transcavernous approach to basilar tip aneurysms. To further optimize this microsurgical technique during posterior clinoidectomy, we performed a cadaveric study of this regional anatomy, describe a technique called dural tailoring, and report initial results in the surgical treatment of upper basilar artery (BA) aneurysm. After 10 adult cadaver heads (silicone-injected) were prepared for dissection, a posterior clinoidectomy with dural tailoring was performed. The dura overlying the upper clivus was coagulated with bipolar electrocoagulation and incised. Stripping dura off the clivus and lateral reflection then exposed the ipsilateral posterior clinoid process and dorsum sellae, thus creating a dural flap. Posterior clinoidectomy with dural tailoring was then used in seven patients with upper BA aneurysms. Our stepwise modification of the posterior clinoidectomy with dural tailoring created a flap that afforded protection of the cavernous sinus and oculomotor nerve. During surgery, there were no recorded intraoperative injuries to neurovascular structures. One patient died postoperatively from morbidity related to severe-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage. Postoperative oculomotor nerve palsy occurred in 3 patients (43%). In all cases, the nerve was anatomically preserved and partial to complete recovery was recorded during the first postoperative year. This technique effectively provided exposure of retrosellar upper basilar aneurysms in seven patients (basilar tip 43% and superior cerebellar artery aneurysms 57%). Outcomes and safety are at least equivalent to or better than basilar aneurysm surgery performed without surgical adjuncts, presumably a less complex subset.
Posterior clinoid; clinoidectomy; dural tailoring; basilar artery; oculomotor nerve
Anterior clinoidectomy is a difficult but important part of surgery for a variety of parasellar, proximal carotid and central skull base pathologies. First developed intradurally nearly 60 years ago, the promotion of an extradural technique decades later offered an approach with a different set of difficulties, risks and benefits. Many recent studies have demonstrated that there is no consensus about the “correct side” of the dura from which to remove the anterior clinoid process in a number of pathologies. Here, we review and compare the current techniques for intra- and extradural clinoidectomy and describe a hybrid alternative technique.
We used a hybrid method to potentially engage the advantages of the intradural and extradural techniques. The hybrid method starts with an extradural sphenoid wing osteotomy to the level of the superior orbital fissure (SOF). The dura is then incised parallel to the sphenoid wing lateral to the SOF, and the need for further bony removal, including clinoidectomy, is assessed after gentle elevation of the frontal lobe and release of cerebrospinal fluid through opening the optico-carotid cisterns and inspection of the pathology in relation to the clinoid. Sylvian fissure may be dissected to relieve retraction on the frontal lobe.
The hybrid method allows an early identification of the optic nerve and its protection during clinoidectomy. The operator leaves the dura medial to the SOF intact and the clionoidectomy proceeds in an extradural fashion while intradural inspection periodically is performed to assess the extent of necessary extradural bony removal.
The hybrid method theoretically can be used as a versatile method under some circumstances. Cutting the dura along the sphenoid wing will prevent the dural layers from obscuring the clinoid and offers intradural visualization to monitor the lesion and potentially tailor bony removal.
Clinoidectomy; complications; optic nerve; technical nuance
Pneumatized anterior clinoid process is a common anatomic variant. Mucocele formation is a known complication of clinoid drilling during certain intracranial operations; however, mucoceles of pneumatized anterior clinoid processes have been found to spontaneously occur.
A 44-year-old male presented with complaints of left-sided retro-orbital pain, double vision, and numbness over the upper face and scalp on the left side of 1-week duration. On examination, he was found to develop cranial nerve III, IV, and VI palsies with pupillary sparing, ophthalmic division cranial nerve V dysfunction, and eventually, the onset of vision loss.
We report a case of spontaneous anterior clinoid process mucocele presenting with orbital apex syndrome. This was treated successfully with anterior clinoidectomy for decompression.
Anterior clinoid process; mucocele; orbital apex syndrome
The aim of this study was to explore the microsurgical anatomy of the superior petroclival region, and thus provide an anatomical basis for operative approaches. The frontotemporal-orbitozygomatic approach was performed on 20 sides of 10 adult cadaver heads. In comparison to the range of the exposure with the removal of the anterior clinoid process, posterior clinoid process and part of the tip of the petrous bone, we measured the neurovascular course and their relation to the superior petroclival region. We found that the trochlear nerve goes through the edge of the tentorial marginal branch, taking 5.42 mm (4.26–6.96) away from the ophthalmic nerve. Exposing the arteria basilaris, above the middle piece the length of exposure is 15.52 mm (14.22–16.70), resulting in the posterior cerebral artery and the front part of the midbrain being completely exposed. There is little exposure on the front part of the pons and midbrain with a length of 5.6 mm (4.38–6.82). Removing the partial petrosal bones, the inferior segment of the basal artery is exposed, while 4 other nerves cab also be observed: Cranial, abducens, facial and vestibulocochlear. The frontotemporal-zygomatic arch approach can clearly expose the superior petroclival region. Obtaining more information on the relationship between the location of these structures, is therefore helpful in improving the safety and success of surgery in this region.
frontotemporal-orbitozygomatic approach; superior petroclival region; microsurgical anatomy
We have analyzed a strategy for improved exposure of the posterior cavernous sinus and petroclival region through an extradural subtemporal approach to be utilized in the removal of neoplastic processes with involvement of the apical petrous bone and posterior cavernous sinus. This surgical approach includes the following elements for improved exposure of the posterior cavernous sinus through the middle fossa corridor: (1) maximal extradural exposure and mobilization of the trigeminal nerve complex, allowing its elevation and anterior displacement, (2) complete extradural removal of the anterior petrous pyramid from the porus acousticus to the petrous apex under direct vision, (3) total exposure of the abducens nerve from the posterior fossa to its point of cross over the intracavernous carotid artery, and (4) wide extradural exposure of the cavernous carotid artery in the foramen lacerum region. This strategy can be combined with other related approaches; specifically, frontotemporal or posterior transpetrosal exposures for extensive lesions.
Microsurgical dissection and morphometric analysis were performed in 20 fixed cadaver specimens for the purposes of validating the method for clinical application and determining the key elements to maximization of exposure. The trigeminal complex could be anteromedially retracted 4.8 mm ± 1.3 (range = 3 to 6 mm) without skeletonization of V2 and V3. Liberating these two divisions from their bony canals to their first peripheral branch (10.4 mm ± 2.5 and 5.4 mm ± 1.1, respectively) resulted in increased mobilization an average of 9.1 mm ± 1.7 (7 to 14 mm). Further mobilization is achieved by dividing the attachment between the trigeminal connective tissue sheath and the fibrous carotid ring at the foramen lacerum. An average of 13.0 mm ± 3.1 (7 to 20 mm) of the posterior intracavernous carotid artery was exposed. Detailed microanatomic observations and a comprehensive morphometric analysis of the relevant anatomic relationships were made.
Sphenoid sinus is the most inaccessible paranasal sinus, enclosed within the sphenoid bone and intimately related to numerous vital neural and vascular structures. Anatomic variation of the sphenoid sinus is well documented and may complicate surgery in such a place.
To outline the surgically risky anatomic variants of the sphenoid sinus as well as the variable relationships between the sinus and related neurovascular structures, for the safe removal of intrasphenoid and pituitary lesions.
Materials and Methods
We undertook a prospective review of 300 paranasal sinus CT scans of Libyan patients; coronal CT scans were obtained by special parameter techniques. We assessed pneumatization of pterygoid process (PP), anterior clinoid process (ACP), and greater wing of sphenoid (GWS); we also examined protrusion and dehiscence of internal carotid artery (ICA), optic nerve (ON), maxillary nerve (MN), and vidian nerve (VN) into the sphenoid sinus cavity.
Pneumatization of PP, ACP, and GWS were seen in 87 (29%), 46 (15.3%), and 60 patients (20%), respectively. Protrusion of ICA, ON, MN, and VN were noticed in 123 (41%), 107 (35.6%), 73 (24.3%), and 81 patients (27%), respectively; dehiscence of these structures was encountered in 90 (30%), 92 (30.6%), 39 (13%), and 111 patients (37%), respectively. Statistically, there was a highly significant association between ACP pneumatization and ICA protrusion, ACP pneumatization and ON protrusion, PP pneumatization and VN protrusion; and GWS pneumatization and MN protrusion (p-value < 0.001).
The sphenoid sinus is highly variable; this variability necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the regional sphenoid sinus anatomy by a detailed CT scan sinus examination before surgery in and around the sinus. This study indicates the possibility of a racial anatomical variation of the sphenoid sinus in the Libyan population.
Sphenoid sinus; variation; internal carotid artery; optic nerve; maxillary nerve; vidian nerve; CT scan; Libyan
Paraclinoid segment internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms have historically been a technical challenge for neurovascular surgeons. The development of microsurgical approach, advances in surgical techniques, and endovascular procedures have improved the outcome for paraclinoid aneurysms. However, many authors have reported high complication rates from microsurgical treatments. Therefore, the present study reviews the microsurgical complications of the extradural anterior clinoidectomy for treating paraclinoid aneurysms and investigates the prevention and management of observed complications.
Between January 2004 and April 2008, 22 patients with 24 paraclinoid aneurysms underwent microsurgical direct clipping by a cerebrovascular team at a regional neurosurgical center. Microsurgery was performed via an ipsilateral pterional approach with extradural anterior clinoidectomy. We retrospectively reviewed patients' medical charts, office records, radiographic studies, and operative records.
In our series, the clinical outcomes after an ipsilateral pterional approach with extradural anterior clinoidectomy for paraclinoid aneurysms were excellent or good (Glasgows Outcome Scale : GOS 5 or 4) in 87.5% of cases. The microsurgical complications related directly to the extradural anterior clinoidectomy included transient cranial nerve palsy (6), cerebrospinal fluid leak (1), worsened change in vision (1), unplanned ICA occlusion (1), and epidural hematoma (1). Only one of the complications resulted in permanent morbidity (4.2%), and none resulted in death.
Although surgical complications are still reported to occur more frequently for the treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms, the permanent morbidity and mortality resulting from a extradural anterior clinoidectomy in our series were lower than previously reported. Precise anatomical knowledge combined with several microsurgical tactics can help to achieve good outcomes with minimal complications.
Extradural anterior clinoidectomy; Paraclinoid aneurysm; Clinical outcomes; Surgical complications
The surgical clipping of paraclinoid segment internal carotid artery aneurysms is considered difficult because of the complex anatomical location and important neighboring structures. Our experiences of pterional craniotomy and extradural anterior clinoidectomy (EAC) to clip paraclinoid aneurysms are reported herein.
We present two patients with paraclinoid aneurysms who underwent surgical clipping using pterional craniotomy and EAC. The clinical results and operative techniques were reviewed from the patients' medical records.
EAC improves the surgical field in the suprasellar and periclinoid regions. Clinically, a good outcome was obtained in both cases. No surgical complications directly resulting from the EAC were observed.
Favorable surgical results can be obtained with pterional craniotomy and EAC for the clipping of paraclinoid aneurysms. EAC is advocated for the clipping of paraclinoid aneurysms.
Paraclinoid aneurysm; Extradural; Anterior clinoidectomy; Pterional craniotomy
The extradural middle fossa approach is used to access lesions of the petroclival and cavernous sinus regions. It may be included in combined petrosal and anterolateral transcavernous approaches. Technically, it is a demanding exposure that provides a wide extradural corridor between the 5th, 7th, and 8th cranial nerves. Its major advantages are that it offers extradural dissection, limits temporal lobe retraction, and avoids the transposition of nerves or vessels. Its disadvantages are primarily related to the complicated anatomy of the petrous apex from the middle fossa trajectory, which can be unfamiliar to neurosurgeons. To facilitate the first attempts with this relatively uncommon approach during dissections of human cadaveric injected heads and isolated temporal bones, we developed a simple learning method useful for localizing all anatomical structures. Using this “rule of two fans,” vascular, nervous, fibrous, and osseous structures are localized within two bordering fans with a 90-degree relationship to each other.
Anatomy; cavernous sinus; cranial base surgery; middle fossa approach; petrous temporal bone
Pituitary adenomas invading the cavernous sinus represent a therapeutic challenge. Those tumors have been traditionally treated with incomplete surgical removal, observation and/ or adjunctive medical therapy, and radiotherapy. In relatively recent years, some authors have suggested a main direct surgical approach to cavernous sinus (CS) with the aim of complete removal of the adenoma, either by a modified trans-sphenoidal route, using or not an endoscopy-assisted approach, or by a transcranial direct approach. The latter has the advantage of allowing direct exposure of the lesion with a view of the surgical field unhindered by important neurovascular structures.
Materials and Methods:
We report a technical modification of the classical epidural approach for CS adenoma removal. This was used in 14 patients. Surgical technique included a fronto-orbito-zygomatic craniotomy with extradural anterior clinoidectomy, and intradural approach to the Hakuba’s triangle for intracavernous dissection. The tumors were removed under direct vision.
Total macroscopical removal was achieved in all but one case. This patient required postoperative radiation therapy as well as adjuvant dopaminergic regime for achieving control of preoperatively increased hormonal values. No other case required radiotherapy. Hormonal and/ or clinical control was also achieved in all the remaining cases. Out of the remaining 13 cases, all appeared to be tumor free at an average postoperative observation at 78 months (34 to 90 months). Significant surgical sequels were detected in only 1 case (persistent 3rd nerve palsy and moderate hemiparesis).
This experience, though limited, would suggest that the transcranial limited CS exposure through the Hakuba’s triangle may allow adequate removal of intracavernous pituitary adenomas with very good long-term results and acceptable complication rate.
Cavernous sinus surgery; fronto-orbito-zygomatic craniotomy (FOZ); Hakuba’s triangle; invasive adenoma; transcranial approach
This study was conducted to investigate the radiological anatomy of the posterior clinoid process (PCP) to highlight preoperative awareness of its variations and its relationships to other skull base landmarks. The PCPs of 36, three-dimensional computed tomographic cadaveric heads were evaluated by studying the gross anatomy of the PCP and by measuring the distances between the PCP and other skull base anatomical landmarks relevant to transnasal or transcranial skull base approaches. PCP variations were found in five specimens (14%): in two the dorsum sellae was absent, in one the PCP and the anterior clinoid process (ACP) were connected unilaterally and in two bilaterally. The mean distance between the right/left PCP and the crista galli was 45.14 ± 4.0 standard deviation (SD_/46.24 ± 4.5 SD, respectively, while the distance to the middle point of the basion at the level of the foramen magnum was 40.41 ± 5.1 SD/41.0 ± 5.2 SD, respectively. The mean distance between the PCP and the ACP was 12.03 ± 3.18 SD on the right side and 12.11 ± 2.77 SD on the left. The data provided highlights the importance of careful preoperative evaluation of the PCP and of its relationships to other commonly encountered skull base landmarks. This information may give an idea of the exposure achievable through different transcranial and transnasal approaches. This is especially relevant when neuronavigation is not available.
Radio-anatomical study; posterior clinoid processes; skull base surgery; transnasal approaches
The restricted operative field, difficulty of obtaining proximal vascular control, and close relationship to important anatomic structures limit approaches to basilar apex aneurysms. We used a cadaveric model to compare three surgical transcavernous routes to the basilar apex in the neutral configuration. Five cadaveric heads were dissected and analyzed. Working areas and length of exposure provided by the transcavernous (TC) approach via pterional, orbitozygomatic, and temporopolar (TP) routes were measured along with assessment of anatomic variation for the basilar apex region. In the pterional TC and orbitozygomatic TC approaches, the mean length of exposure of the basilar artery measured 6.9 and 7.2 mm, respectively (p = NS). The mean length of exposure in a TP TC approach increased to 9.3 mm (p < 0.05). Compared with the pterional and orbitozygomatic approaches, the TP TC approach provided a larger peribasilar area of exposure ipsilaterally and contralaterally (p < 0.05). The multiplanar working area related to the TP TC approach was 77.7 and 69.5% wider than for the pterional TC and orbitozygomatic TC, respectively. For a basilar apex in the neutral position, the TP TC approach may be advantageous, providing a wider working area for the basilar apex region, improving maneuverability for clip application, fine visualization of perforators, and better proximal control.
Basilar artery aneurysm; transcavernous approach; temporopolar approach; pterional approach; orbitozygomatic approach; anatomic study
Introduction: The Circle of Willis is a vascular network formed at the base of skull in the interpeduncular fossa. Its anterior part is formed by the anterior cerebral artery, from either side. Anterior communicating artery connects the right and left anterior cerebral arteries. Posteriorly, the basilar artery divides into right and left posterior cerebral arteries and each joins to ipsilateral internal carotid artery through a posterior communicating artery. Anterior communicating artery, an important component of circle of Willis, acts as collateral channel to stabilize blood flow. In the present study, anatomical variations in the anterior communicating artery were noted.
Material and Methods: One hundred apparently normal formalin fixed brain specimens were collected from human cadavers. Normal anatomical pattern and variations of anterior communicating artery were studied. The anterior communicating arteries were then coloured, photographed, numbered and the abnormalities, if any, were noted.
Result: Thity eight variant anterior communicating arteries were noted. The most common variation observed in the anterior communicating artery was its duplication in 10 subjects, followed by its absence in 8 subjects. Some variations like plexus formation, median artery were found in adults, because of persistence of embryonic pattern.
Conclusion: Knowledge on variations in the anterior communicating artery is of clinical significance, as it is one of the components of circle of Willis which stabilizes cerebral blood flow when principle conduits fail.
Anterior communicating artery; Circle of Willis; Cerebral supply; Hypoplastic
The effectiveness of several anatomical and radiological landmarks proposed to determine whether an aneurysm is located intradurally or extradurally is still debated. In anatomical and radiological studies, we examined the relationships of the distal dural ring (DDR) to the internal carotid artery (ICA) and surrounding bony structures to aid in the localization of aneurysms near the DDR. Anatomical relationships were examined by performing dissections on 10 specimens (5 formalin-fixed cadaveric heads). After the position of the DDR, optic nerve, and tuberculum sellae were marked with surgical steel wire, radiographs were taken in multiple projections. The only bony landmark consistently visible on radiographs was the planum sphenoidale. The superior border of the DDR is located at or below the level of the tuberculum sellae, which laterally becomes the superomedial aspect of the optic strut; thus, the optic strut marks the dorsal limit of the DDR. On 50 dry skulls, we measured the vertical distance between the planum sphenoidale and medial aspect of the optic strut (5.0 ± 0.4 mm), the interoptic strut distance (14.4 ± 1.4 mm), and the linear distance between the most posterior aspect of the planum sphenoidale (limbus sphenoidale) and the tuberculum sellae (6.0 ± 0.5 mm). Using these measurements and the planum sphenoidale, tuberculum sellae, and optic strut as reference landmarks, we determined the location of the aneurysm relative to the DDR on angiographic images. In this way, we were able to identify whether lesions were intra- or extradural.
Tuberculum sellae; planum sphenoidale; optic strut; distal dural ring; aneurysms
The possibility of creating a middle meningeal artery (MMA)-to-petrous internal carotid artery (ICA) bypass was investigated in six cadavers (bilaterally). Such a procedure could be used to treat patients with high cervical vascular lesions and those with tumors of the infratemporal fossa invading the high cervical ICA. After a frontotemporal craniotomy, the foramen spinosum and foramen ovale were exposed extradurally. Immediately posterior to the foramen ovale and medial to the foramen spinosum, the petrous portion of the ICA was exposed with a diamond-tipped drill. The MMA was lifted from its groove, and a sufficient length was transected to perform a bypass with the petrous ICA medially. The mean width of the MMA at the site of anastomosis was 2.3 ± 0.35 mm. The mean length of MMA from the foramen spinosum to the site of the anastomosis was 9.6 ± 1.7 mm. Based on these measurements, width and length of MMA appear to be sufficient for a bypass with petrous ICA.
Middle meningeal artery; internal carotid artery; bypass procedure; angiography
Flexion tear-drop fractures (FTDF) in the cervical spine constitute a highly unstable condition with a high incidence of neurological complications due to posterior displacement of the fractured vertebra in the spinal canal. The widely accepted surgical management for this condition includes complete excision and grafting of the vertebral body through an anterior approach. Thorough radiological and CT analysis of FTDF shows that the vertebral body is often separated into two parts by a sagittal plane fracture, but remains continuous through the pedicle and anterior arch of the vertebral foramen with the lateral mass and the articular processes. We therefore hypothesized that reduction would be possible by acting on the articular process through a posterior approach with a particular plating technique. Eight patients with FTDF were operated on with the technique we describe. Three had complete tetraplegia, four had incomplete tetraplegia and one was normal. A preoperative CT scan was made in all patients. Local kyphosis, posterior displacement of the vertebral body, and general lordosis in the cervical spine were recorded. In all cases, a satisfactory reduction was achieved on the postoperative radiographs and at the mean follow-up of 18.6 ± 12.1 months, with residual posterior displacement being less than 1 mm. No complication occurred. Out of seven neurologically impaired patients, five showed some motor recovery at the latest follow-up. The posterior technique is described, and the rationale and pros and cons are discussed. The study showed that posterior reduction and fixation of flexion tear-drop fracture is not only possible, but permits an accurate restoration of the anatomy of the fractured cervical spine.
Key words Cervical spine; Sinal injury; Tear-drop fracture; Posterior plating
The course of the oculomotor nerve on the clivus was abnormal in a patient with petroclival meningioma. He complained of gait disturbance. A gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance image demonstrated a 4.4-cm enhancing mass in the petroclival region. The tumor was removed via an anterior transpetrosal-transtentorial approach. Normally, the oculomotor nerve originates from the brainstem and enters the oculomotor trigone. In this patient, the oculomotor nerve entered the dura mater at the upper clivus, behind the posterior clinoid process, and coursed parallel to the basilar artery. This entrance is lower than the normal entry point of the oculomotor nerve. The abnormal entrance of the oculomotor nerve may reflect an atypical developmental relationship among the cranial nerves, meninges, and bones during embryogenesis.
Petroclival meningioma; anatomical variation; oculomotor nerve; microanatomy; anterior transpetrosal-transtentorial approach
We report here troubleshooting of intraoperative premature rupture with large anterior paraclinoid aneurysm, which was successfully clipped. A 61-year-old woman with left nasal hemianopia was referred to our institute. Preoperative three-dimensional computed tomography angiography and a left internal carotid artery angiogram showed a large left anterior clinoid aneurysm adjacent to the anterior clinoid process. Aneurysm was ruptured prematurely and tentative clipping of the dome of the aneurysm was done incidentally to stop bleeding and to reduce the volume of the aneurysm. The anterior clinoid process and superior wall of the orbit were drilled out safely, since the tentative clipping had created sufficient space between the aneurysm and the anterior clinoid process to perform the procedure. The proximal neck was observed and tandem clipping was applied to the aneurysm. Intraoperative and postoperative angiography revealed complete disappearance of the aneurysm.
anterior clinoid process; anterior paraclinoid aneurysm; premature rupture; saccular aneurysm; tentative clipping
The so called anterior meningeal artery (AMA) is a branch of the vertebral artery (VA), which had been interpreted as a supplying vessel of the dura in the foramen magnum and upper cervical level.
In this study, we examined the anatomy of this artery and relationships to its surrounding structures for treatment modalities. With the aid of magnification, five adult cadaveric head and neck complex and five cervical spines were examined after perfusion of the vessels with colored silicone.
The AMA arose from the VA between the C2 and C3 level, and passed medially through the intrervertebral foramen anterior to the dural sheath of the third cervical nerve root. It ran upwards dorsal to the deep layer of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) with anterior internal vertebral venous plexus. Rostrally, it formed an arcade above the apex of the odontoid process with its contralateral mate.
The AMA gave off several tiny branches to the deep layer of the PLL, ligaments and soft tissues above the apex of the odontoid process, and vertebral bodies of the axis. At the level of the foramen magnum, it ended in several small twigs to the dura. Anastomoses between the AMA system and adjacent vessels were observed. One was directed through the hypoglossal canal to the ascending pharyngeal artery and the other was with the V3 segment of the VA. The origin and course of the two AMA, and anastomoses were symmetric. Although the AMA feeds the ventral dura of the foramen magnum, the perfusion area is larger than its name suggests, including the bony and ligamentous structures in the craniovertebral junction.
Anatomical knowledge of the AMA, including its anastomoses and layer relationships to the surrounding structures, may help to perform treatment modalities in this region rationally.
anatomy, anterior meningeal artery, craniovertebral junction, vertebral artery
Objective: The infratemporal fossa (ITF) is a continuation of the temporal fossa between the internal surface of the zygoma and the external surface of the temporal bone and greater wing of the sphenoid bone that is sitting deep to the ramus of the mandible. The principal structure to understanding its relationships is the lateral pterygoid muscle. Other important structures are the medial pterygoid muscle, the maxillary artery, the pterygoid venous plexus, the otic ganglion, the chorda tympani nerve and the mandibular nerve. In this study, we describe the microsurgical anatomy of the ITF, as viewed by step-by-step anatomical dissection and also through the perspective of three lateral approaches and one anterior surgical approach. Methods: Eight cadaver specimens were dissected. In one side of all specimens, an anatomical dissection was done in which a wide preauricular incision from the neck on the anterior border of the sternoclidomastoid muscle at the level of the cricoid cartilage to the superior temporal line was made. The flap was displaced anteriorly and the structures of the neck were dissected followed by a zygomatic osteotomy and dissection of the ITF structures. On the other side were the surgical approaches to the ITF. The combined infratemporal and posterior fossa approach was done in two specimens, the subtemporal preauricular infratemporal fossa approach in two, the zygomatic approach in two, and the lateral transantral maxillotomy in two. The anatomical dissections were documented on the three-dimensional (3D) anaglyphic method to produce stereoscopic prints. Results: The lateral pterygoid muscle is one of the principal structures to enable understanding of the relationships into the ITF. The tendon of the temporal muscle inserts in the coronoid process at the ITF. The maxillary artery is the terminal branch of the external carotid artery that originates at the neck of the mandible and runs into the parotid gland. In our dissections the maxillary artery was lateral to the buccal, lingual, and inferior alveolar nerves. We found the second part of the maxillary artery superficial to the lateral pterygoid muscle in all specimens The anterior and posterior branches of the deep temporal artery supply the temporal muscle. In two cases we found a middle deep temporal artery. The different approaches that we used provided different views of the same anatomical landmarks and this provides not only safer surgery but also the best choice to approach the ITF according with the pathology extension. Conclusions: The ITF is a complex region on the skull base that is affected by benign and malignant tumors. The study through different routes is helpful to disclose the relationship among the anatomical structures. Although the authors have shown four approaches, there are a variety of approaches and even a combination of these can be used. This type of anatomical knowledge is essential to choosing the best approach to treat lesions in this area.
Infratemporal fossa; surgical anatomy; approaches; paraganglioma; mandibular nerve