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Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Noritaka Komune, Jacob B. Archer, Hai Sun, Nicholas Theodore, Jeffrey James, Andrew S. Little, Peter Nakaji, Michael E. Sughrue, Albert L. Rhoton and Robert F. Spetzler

OBJECT

The objective of this study was to describe the surgical anatomy and technical nuances of various vascularized tissue flaps.

METHODS

The surgical anatomy of various tissue flaps and their vascular pedicles was studied in 5 colored silicone-injected anatomical specimens. Medical records were reviewed of 11 consecutive patients who underwent repair of extensive skull base defects with a combination of various vascularized flaps.

RESULTS

The supraorbital, supratrochlear, superficial temporal, greater auricular, and occipital arteries contribute to the vascular supply of the pericranium. The pericranial flap can be designed based on an axial blood supply. Laterally, various flaps are supplied by the deep or superficial temporal arteries. The nasoseptal flap is a vascular pedicled flap based on the nasoseptal artery. Patients with extensive skull base defects can undergo effective repair with dual flaps or triple flaps using these pedicled vascularized flaps.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple pedicled flaps are available for reconstitution of the skull base. Knowledge of the surgical anatomy of these flaps is crucial for the skull base surgeon. These vascularized tissue flaps can be used effectively as single or combination flaps. Multilayered closure of cranial base defects with vascularized tissue can be used safely and may lead to excellent repair outcomes.

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Kaan Yagmurlu, Erik H. Middlebrooks, Necmettin Tanriover and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to examine the arcuate (AF) and superior longitudinal fasciculi (SLF), which together form the dorsal language stream, using fiber dissection and diffusion imaging techniques in the human brain.

METHODS

Twenty-five formalin-fixed brains (50 hemispheres) and 3 adult cadaveric heads, prepared according to the Klingler method, were examined by the fiber dissection technique. The authors’ findings were supported with MR tractography provided by the Human Connectome Project, WU-Minn Consortium. The frequencies of gyral distributions were calculated in segments of the AF and SLF in the cadaveric specimens.

RESULTS

The AF has ventral and dorsal segments, and the SLF has 3 segments: SLF I (dorsal pathway), II (middle pathway), and III (ventral pathway). The AF ventral segment connects the middle (88%; all percentages represent the area of the named structure that is connected to the tract) and posterior (100%) parts of the superior temporal gyri and the middle part (92%) of the middle temporal gyrus to the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (96% in pars opercularis, 40% in pars triangularis) and the ventral premotor cortex (84%) by passing deep to the lower part of the supramarginal gyrus (100%). The AF dorsal segment connects the posterior part of the middle (100%) and inferior temporal gyri (76%) to the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (96% in pars opercularis), ventral premotor cortex (72%), and posterior part of the middle frontal gyrus (56%) by passing deep to the lower part of the angular gyrus (100%).

CONCLUSIONS

This study depicts the distinct subdivision of the AF and SLF, based on cadaveric fiber dissection and diffusion imaging techniques, to clarify the complicated language processing pathways.

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Ken Matsushima, Kaan Yagmurlu, Michihiro Kohno and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

Fissure dissection is routinely used in the supratentorial region to access deeply situated pathology while minimizing division of neural tissue. Use of fissure dissection is also practical in the posterior fossa. In this study, the microsurgical anatomy of the 3 cerebellar-brainstem fissures (cerebellomesencephalic, cerebellopontine, and cerebellomedullary) and the various procedures exposing these fissures in brainstem surgery were examined.

METHODS

Seven cadaveric heads were examined with a microsurgical technique and 3 with fiber dissection to clarify the anatomy of the cerebellar-brainstem and adjacent cerebellar fissures, in which the major vessels and neural structures are located. Several approaches directed along the cerebellar surfaces and fissures, including the supracerebellar infratentorial, occipital transtentorial, retrosigmoid, and midline suboccipital approaches, were examined. The 3 heads examined using fiber dissection defined the anatomy of the cerebellar peduncles coursing in the depths of these fissures.

RESULTS

Dissections directed along the cerebellar-brainstem and cerebellar fissures provided access to the posterior and posterolateral midbrain and upper pons, lateral pons, floor and lateral wall of the fourth ventricle, and dorsal and lateral medulla.

CONCLUSIONS

Opening the cerebellar-brainstem and adjacent cerebellar fissures provided access to the brainstem surface hidden by the cerebellum, while minimizing division of neural tissue. Most of the major cerebellar arteries, veins, and vital neural structures are located in or near these fissures and can be accessed through them.

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Jian Wang, Fumitaka Yoshioka, Wonil Joo, Noritaka Komune, Vicent Quilis-Quesada and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to examine the relationships of the cochlea as a guide for avoiding both cochlear damage with loss of hearing in middle fossa approaches and injury to adjacent structures in approaches directed through the cochlea.

METHODS

Twenty adult cadaveric middle fossae were examined using magnifications of ×3 to ×40.

RESULTS

The cochlea sits below the floor of the middle fossa in the area between and below the labyrinthine segment of the facial nerve and greater petrosal nerve (GPN) and adjacent to the lateral genu of the petrous carotid. Approximately one-third of the cochlea extends below the medial edge of the labyrinthine segment of the facial nerve, geniculate ganglion, and proximal part of the GPN. The medial part of the basal and middle turns are the parts at greatest risk in drilling the floor of the middle fossa to expose the nerves in middle fossa approaches to the internal acoustic meatus and in anterior petrosectomy approaches. Resection of the cochlea is used selectively in extending approaches through the mastoid toward the lateral edge of the clivus and front of the brainstem.

CONCLUSIONS

An understanding of the location and relationships of the cochlea will reduce the likelihood of cochlear damage with hearing loss in approaches directed through the middle fossa and reduce the incidence of injury to adjacent structures in approaches directed through the cochlea.

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Carolina Martins, Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Guilherme Carvalhal Ribas

Three-dimensional images have become an important tool in teaching surgical anatomy, and its didactic power is enhanced when combined with 3D surgical images and videos. This paper describes the method used by the last author (G.C.R.) since 2002 to project 3D anatomical and surgical images using a computer source. Projecting 3D images requires the superposition of 2 similar but slightly different images of the same object. The set of images, one mimicking the view of the left eye and the other mimicking the view of the right eye, constitute the stereoscopic pair and can be processed using anaglyphic or horizontal-vertical polarization of light for individual use or presentation to larger audiences. Classically, 3D projection could be obtained by using a double set of slides, projected through 2 slide projectors, each of them equipped with complementary filters, shooting over a medium that keeps light polarized (a silver screen) and having the audience wear appropriate glasses. More recently, a digital method of 3D projection has been perfected. In this method, a personal computer is used as the source of the images, which are arranged in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. A beam splitter device is used to connect the computer source to 2 digital, portable projectors. Filters, a silver screen, and glasses are used, similar to the classic method. Among other advantages, this method brings flexibility to 3D presentations by allowing the combination of 3D anatomical and surgical still images and videos. It eliminates the need for using film and film developing, lowering the costs of the process. In using small, powerful digital projectors, this method substitutes for the previous technology, without incurring a loss of quality, and enhances portability.

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Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Kaan Yagmurlu, Hung Tzu Wen and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to describe the location of each white matter pathway in the area between the inferior limiting insular sulcus (ILS) and temporal horn that may be crossed in approaches through the temporal stem to the medial temporal lobe.

METHODS

The fiber tracts in 14 adult cadaveric cerebral hemispheres were examined using the Klingler technique. The fiber dissections were completed in a stepwise manner, identifying each white matter pathway in different planes and describing its position in relation to the anterior end of the ILS.

RESULTS

The short-association fibers from the extreme capsule, which continue toward the operculae, are the most superficial subcortical layer deep to the ILS. The external capsule fibers are found deeper at an intermediate layer and are formed by the uncinate fasciculus, inferior frontooccipital fasciculus, and claustrocortical fibers in a sequential anteroposterior disposition. The anterior commissure forms the next deeper layer, and the optic radiations in the sublenticular part of the internal capsule represent the deepest layer. The uncinate fasciculus is found deep to the anterior third of the ILS, whereas the inferior frontooccipital fasciculus and optic radiations are found superficial and deep, respectively, at the posterior two-thirds of this length.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' findings suggest that in the transsylvian approach, a 6-mm incision beginning just posterior to the limen insula through the ILS will cross the uncinate fasciculus but not the inferior frontooccipital fasciculus or optic radiations, but that longer incisions carry a risk to language and visual functions.

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Tomas Poblete, Xiaochun Jiang, Noritaka Komune, Ken Matsushima and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

There continues to be confusion over how best to preserve the branches of the facial nerve to the frontalis muscle when elevating a frontotemporal (pterional) scalp flap. The object of this study was to examine the full course of the branches of the facial nerve that must be preserved to maintain innervation of the frontalis muscle during elevation of a frontotemporal scalp flap.

METHODS

Dissection was performed to follow the temporal branches of facial nerves along their course in 5 adult, cadaveric heads (n = 10 extracranial facial nerves).

RESULTS

Preserving the nerves to the frontalis muscle requires an understanding of the course of the nerves in 3 areas. The first area is on the outer surface of the temporalis muscle lateral to the superior temporal line (STL) where the interfascial or subfascial approaches are applied, the second is in the area medial to the STL where subpericranial dissection is needed, and the third is along the STL. Preserving the nerves crossing the STL requires an understanding of the complex fascial relationships at this line. It is important to preserve the nerves crossing the lateral and medial parts of the exposure, and the continuity of the nerves as they pass across the STL. Prior descriptions have focused largely on the area superficial to the temporalis muscle lateral to the STL.

CONCLUSIONS

Using the interfascial-subpericranial flap and the subfascial-subpericranial flap avoids opening the layer of loose areolar tissue between the temporal fascia and galea in the area lateral to the STL and between the galea and frontal pericranium in the area medial to the STL. It also preserves the continuity of the nerve crossing the STL. This technique allows for the preservation of the nerves to the frontalis muscle along their entire trajectory, from the uppermost part of the parotid gland to the frontalis muscle.

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Akın Akakın, Baran Yılmaz, Türker Kılıç and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

The goal in this study was to examine the cadaveric anatomy of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and to analyze the implications of the findings for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery.

METHODS

Five formalin-fixed human cerebrums were dissected using the Klingler fiber dissection technique. Digital photographs of the dissections were fused to obtain an anaglyphic image.

RESULTS

The STN was located posteroinferior to the anterior corticospinal fibers, posterosuperior to the substantia nigra, and anteromedial to the red nucleus, lenticular fasciculus, and thalamic fasciculus. The subthalamic region is ventral to the thalamus, medial to the internal capsule, and lateral and caudal to the hypothalamus. The nuclei found within the subthalamic region include the STN. The relationship between the STN and surrounding structures, which are not delineated sharply, is described.

CONCLUSIONS

The fiber dissection technique supports the presence of the subthalamic region as an integrative network in humans and offers the potential to aid in understanding the impacts of DBS surgery of the STN in patients with Parkinson disease. Further research is needed to define the exact role of the STN in the integrative process.

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Thomas Frigeri, Eliseu Paglioli, Evandro de Oliveira and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

Central Lobe consists of the pre- and postcentral gyri on the lateral surface and the Paracentral Lobule on the medial surface and corresponds to the sensorimotor cortex. The objective of the present study was to define the neural features, craniometric relationships, arterial supply, and venous drainage of the central lobe.

METHODS

Cadaveric hemispheres dissected using microsurgical techniques provided the material for this study.

RESULTS

The coronal suture is closer to the precentral gyrus and central sulcus at its lower rather than at its upper end, but they are closest at a point near where the superior temporal line crosses the coronal suture. The arterial supply of the lower two-thirds of the lateral surface of the central lobe was from the central, precentral, and anterior parietal branches that arose predominantly from the superior trunk of the middle cerebral artery. The medial surface and the superior third of the lateral surface were supplied by the posterior interior frontal, paracentral, and superior parietal branches of the pericallosal and callosomarginal arteries. The venous drainage of the superior two-thirds of the lateral surface and the central lobe on the medial surface was predominantly through the superior sagittal sinus, and the inferior third of the lateral surface was predominantly through the superficial sylvian veins to the sphenoparietal sinus or the vein of Labbé to the transverse sinus.

CONCLUSIONS

The pre- and postcentral gyri and paracentral lobule have a morphological and functional anatomy that differentiates them from the remainder of their respective lobes and are considered by many as a single lobe. An understanding of the anatomical relationships of the central lobe can be useful in preoperative planning and in establishing reliable intraoperative landmarks.

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Maysam Alimohamadi and Madjid Samii