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Ken Matsushima, Michihiro Kohno, Noritaka Komune, Koichi Miki, Toshio Matsushima and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

Object

Jugular foramen tumors often extend intra- and extracranially. The gross-total removal of tumors located both intracranially and intraforaminally is technically challenging and often requires a combined skull base approach. This study presents a suprajugular extension of the retrosigmoid approach directed through the osseous roof of the jugular foramen that allows the removal of tumors located in the cerebellopontine angle with extension into the upper part of the foramen, with demonstration of an illustrative case.

Methods

The cerebellopontine angles and jugular foramina were examined in dry skulls and cadaveric heads to clarify the microsurgical anatomy around the jugular foramen and to define the steps of the suprajugular exposure.

Results

The area drilled in the suprajugular approach is inferior to the acoustic meatus, medial to the endolymphatic depression and surrounding the superior half of the glossopharyngeal dural fold. Opening this area exposed the upper part of the jugular foramen and extended the exposure along the glossopharyngeal nerve below the roof of the jugular foramen. In the illustrative case, a schwannoma originating from the glossopharyngeal nerve in the cerebellopontine angle and extending below the roof of the jugular foramen and above the jugular bulb was totally removed without any postoperative complications.

Conclusions

The suprajugular extension of the retrosigmoid approach will permit removal of tumors located predominantly in the cerebellopontine angle but also extending into the upper part of the jugular foramen without any additional skull base approaches.

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Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Paul A. Gardner, Milton M. Rastelli Jr., Maria Peris-Celda, Maria Koutourousiou, David Peace, Carl H. Snyderman and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

Object

The object of this paper was to describe the surgical anatomy and technical nuances of the endonasal transcavernous posterior clinoidectomy approach with interdural pituitary transposition and to report the clinical outcome of this technical modification.

Methods

The surgical anatomy of the proposed approach was studied in 10 colored silicon-injected anatomical specimens. The medical records of 12 patients that underwent removal of the posterior clinoid(s) with this technique were reviewed.

Results

The natural anatomical corridor provided by the cavernous sinus is used to get access to the posterior clinoid by mobilizing the pituitary gland in an interdural fashion. The medial wall of the cavernous sinus is preserved intact and attached to the gland during its medial and superior mobilization. This provides protection to the gland, allowing for preservation of its venous drainage pathways. The inferior hypophyseal artery is transected to facilitate the manipulation of the medial wall of the cavernous sinus and pituitary gland. This approach was successfully performed in all patients, including 6 with chordomas, 5 with petroclival meningiomas, and 1 with an epidermoid tumor. No patient in this series had neurovascular injury related to the posterior clinoidectomy. There were no instances of permanent hypopituitarism or diabetes insipidus.

Conclusions

The authors introduce a surgical variant of the endoscopic endonasal posterior clinoidectomy approach that does not require intradural pituitary transposition and is more effective than the purely extradural approach. The endoscopic endonasal transcavernous approach facilitates the removal of prominent posterior clinoids increasing the working space at the lateral recess of the interpeduncular cistern, while preserving the pituitary function.

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Ana Rodríguez-Hernández, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Michael T. Lawton

Object

The conceptual division of intracranial arteries into segments provides a better understanding of their courses and a useful working vocabulary. Segmental anatomy of cerebral arteries is commonly cited by a numerical nomenclature, but an analogous nomenclature for cerebellar arteries has not been described. In this report, the microsurgical anatomy of the cerebellar arteries is reviewed, and a numbering system for cerebellar arteries is proposed.

Methods

Cerebellar arteries were designated by the first letter of the artery's name in lowercase letters, distinguishing them from cerebral arteries with the same first letter of the artery's name. Segmental anatomy was numbered in ascending order from proximal to distal segments.

Results

The superior cerebellar artery was divided into 4 segments: s1, anterior pontomesencephalic segment; s2, lateral pontomesencephalic segment; s3, cerebellomesencephalic segment; and s4, cortical segment. The anterior inferior cerebellar artery was divided into 4 segments: a1, anterior pontine segment; a2, lateral pontine segment; a3, flocculopeduncular segment; and a4, cortical segment. The posterior inferior cerebellar artery was divided into 5 segments: p1, anterior medullary segment; p2, lateral medullary segment; p3, tonsillomedullary segment; p4, telovelotonsillar segment; and p5, cortical segment.

Conclusions

The proposed nomenclature for segmental anatomy of cerebellar artery complements established nomenclature for segmental anatomy of cerebral arteries. This nomenclature is simple, easy to learn, and practical. The nomenclature localizes distal cerebellar artery aneurysms and also localizes an anastomosis or describes a graft's connections to donor and recipient arteries. These applications of the proposed nomenclature with cerebellar arteries mimic the applications of the established nomenclature with cerebral arteries.

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Arthur J. Ulm, Antonino Russo, Erminia Albanese, Necmettin Tanriover, Carolina Martins, Robert M. Mericle, David Pincus and Albert L. Rhoton

Object

The aim of this study was to determine the anatomical limitations of the transcallosal transchoroidal approach to the third ventricle.

Methods

Twenty-six formalin-fixed specimens were studied. Sagittal dissections were used to determine the anatomical relationships of the foramen of Monro, the angle of approach to landmarks, and placement of a callosotomy. Lateral ventricular dissections were performed to quantitate the forniceal anatomy.

Results

The foramen of Monro was found 1.07 ± 0.11 cm superior and slightly anterior to the mammillary bodies, 1.48 ± 0.16 cm posterosuperior to the optic recess, and 2.26 ± 0.16 cm anterosuperior to the aqueduct. Relative to the genu, a callosal incision 2.64 ± 0.53 cm long and angled 37 ± 4.3° anterior was needed to access the aqueduct, and an incision 4.92 ± 0.71 cm long and angled 49 ± 7.4° posterior was needed to access the optic recess. The fornix progressively widened within the lateral ventricle, from 1.25 ± 0.63 mm at the foramen of Monro to > 7 mm at 2 cm behind the foramen. Three zones of exposure were identified, requiring unique craniotomies, callosotomies, and angles of approach. The major limiting factors in the approach included the columns of the fornix anteriorly, the width of the fornix posteriorly, and the draining veins of the parietal cortex. The choroidal fissure opening was limited to 1.5 cm posterior to the foramen of Monro; this limited opening created an aperture effect that required an anterior-to-posterior angle, an anterior craniotomy, and an anteriorly placed callosotomy to access the posterior landmarks. In contrast, a posterior-to-anterior angle, posteriorly placed craniotomy, and posteriorly placed callosotomy were required to access anterior landmarks.

Conclusions

The transcallosal transchoroidal approach was ideally suited to access the foramen of Monro and the middle and posterior thirds of the third ventricle. Exposure of the anterior third ventricle was limited by the columns of the fornix and by the presence of parietal cortical draining veins.

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Juan C. Fernández-Miranda, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Yukinari Kakizawa, Chanyoung Choi and Juan Álvarez-Linera

Object

The goal in this study was to examine the microsurgical and tractographic anatomy of the claustrum and its projection fibers, and to analyze the functional and surgical implications of the findings.

Methods

Fifteen formalin-fixed human brain hemispheres were dissected using the Klingler fiber dissection technique, with the aid of an operating microscope at × 6–40 magnification. Magnetic resonance imaging studies of 5 normal brains were analyzed using diffusion tensor (DT) imaging–based tractography software.

Results

Both the claustrum and external capsule have 2 parts: dorsal and ventral. The dorsal part of the external capsule is mainly composed of the claustrocortical fibers that converge into the gray matter of the dorsal claustrum. Results of the tractography studies coincided with the fiber dissection findings and showed that the claustrocortical fibers connect the claustrum with the superior frontal, precentral, postcentral, and posterior parietal cortices, and are topographically organized. The ventral part of the external capsule is formed by the uncinate and inferior occipitofrontal fascicles, which traverse the ventral part of the claustrum, connecting the orbitofrontal and prefrontal cortex with the amygdaloid, temporal, and occipital cortices. The relationship between the insular surface and the underlying fiber tracts, and between the medial lower surface of the claustrum and the lateral lenticulostriate arteries is described.

Conclusions

The combination of the fiber dissection technique and DT imaging–based tractography supports the presence of the claustrocortical system as an integrative network in humans and offers the potential to aid in understanding the diffusion of gliomas in the insula and other areas of the brain.

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Amin B. Kassam, Allan D. Vescan, Ricardo L. Carrau, Daniel M. Prevedello, Paul Gardner, Arlan H. Mintz, Carl H. Snyderman and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

✓ The purpose of this study was to describe the technique used to safely identify the petrous carotid artery during expanded endonasal approaches to the skull base. A series of 20 cadaveric studies was undertaken to isolate the vidian artery and nerve and to use them as landmarks to the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA). Twenty-five consecutive paraclival endoscopic cases were also reviewed to determine the consistency of the vidian artery in vivo as an intraoperative landmark to the ICA. These data were then correlated with results from a separate study in which computed tomography scans from 44 patients were evaluated to delineate the course of the vidian canal and its relationship to the petrous ICA. In all 20 cadaveric dissections and all 25 surgical cases, the vidian artery was consistently identified and could be reliably used as a landmark to the ICA. The correlation between anatomical and clinical data in this paper supports the consistent use of the vidian artery as an important landmark to the petrous ICA.

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Necmettin Tanriover, Hiroshi Abe, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Masatou Kawashima, Galip Z. Sanus and Ziya Akar

Object

The purpose of this study was to define the patterns of drainage of the superior petrosal venous complex (SPVC) along the petrous ridge in relation to the Meckel cave and internal acoustic meatus (IAM) and to delineate its effect on the surgical exposures obtained in subtemporal transtentorial and retrosigmoid suprameatal approaches.

Methods

The patterns of drainage of the SPVC along the petrous ridge were characterized according to their relation to the Meckel cave and the IAM based on an examination of 30 hemispheres. Subtemporal transtentorial and retro-sigmoid suprameatal approaches were performed in three additional cadavers to demonstrate the effect of the drainage pattern on the surgical exposures.

Conclusions

The SPVC emptied into the superior petrosal sinus (SPS) within a distance of 1 cm from the midpoint of the Meckel cave. The patterns of drainage of the SPVC were classified into three groups. Type I emptied into the SPS above and lateral to the boundaries of the IAM. The most common type, Type II, emptied between the lateral limit of the trigeminal nerve at the Meckel cave and the medial limit of the facial nerve at the IAM, within an area of approximately 13 mm. Type III emptied into the SPS above or medial to the Meckel cave. The ideal SPVC for a subtemporal transtentorial approach (with or without anterior extradural petrosectomy) seems to be a Type I. In SPVC Type III and those Type II cases in which the SPVC is located near the Meckel cave, the amount of working space is significantly limited in a subtemporal transtentorial approach. In contrast, the ideal type of SPVC for a retrosigmoid suprameatal approach would be a Type III, and the SPVC must be divided in the majority of Type I and II cases for a satisfactory surgical exposure along the Meckel cave and middle fossa dura. The proposed modified classification system and its effect on the surgical exposure may aid in planning the approach directed along the petrous apex and may reduce the probability of venous complications.

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Guilherme C. Ribas, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Oswaldo R. Cruz and David Peace

Object

The goal of this study was to delimit the external cranial projection of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses, and to establish initial strategic systematized burr hole sites for lateral infratentorial suboccipital approaches based on external cranial landmarks particularly related to the lambdoid, occipitomastoid, and parietomastoid sutures.

Methods

The external cranial projection of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses was studied through their external outlining obtained with the aid of multiple small perforations made from inside to outside along the inner margins of the sinuses of 50 paired temporoparietooccipital regions in 25 dried adult human skulls. The burr hole placement was studied by evaluating the supratentorial, over-the-sinuses, and infratentorial components of 1-cm-diameter openings made at strategic sites identified in the initial part of the study, which was performed in another 50 paired temporoparietooccipital regions.

The asterion and the midpoint of the inion–asterion line were found to be particularly related to the inferior half of the transverse sinus; the transverse and sigmoid sinuses' transition occurs 1 cm anteriorly to the asterion across the parietomastoid suture, and the most superior part of the sigmoid sinus is located anteriorly to the occipitomastoid suture, with its posterior margin crossing this suture posteriorly to the most superior aspect of the mastoid process, which is located at the most superior level of the mastoid notch. Burr holes made at the midpoint of the inion–asterion line, at the asterion, 1 cm anterior to the asterion, just inferiorly to the parietomastoid suture, and over the occipitomastoid suture at the most superior level of the mastoid notch are appropriate to expose the inferior half of the transverse sinus at its midpoint, the inferior half of the transverse sinus at its most lateral aspect, the transverse and sigmoid sinuses' transition, and the posterior margin of the basal aspect of the sigmoid sinus, respectively.

Conclusions

These findings allow an estimation of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses' external cranial projection. The asterion and the most posterior part of the parietomastoid suture constitute a suitable initial burr hole site at which to perform an upper or asterional suboccipital craniectomy to expose the superior aspect of the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). The occipitomastoid suture at the most superior aspect of the mastoid notch constitutes an adequate initial burr hole site at which to perform a basal suboccipital craniectomy to expose the lower portion of the CPA. The sites can be used together as initial burr hole sites to perform wide suboccipital exposures, because they already constitute natural infratentorial lateral limits.

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Masatou Kawashima, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Necmettin Tanriover, Arthur J. Ulm, Alexandre Yasuda and Kiyotaka Fujii

Object. Revascularization is an important component of treatment for complex aneurysms that require parent vessel occlusion, skull base tumors that involve major vessels, and certain ischemic diseases. In this study, the authors examined the microsurgical anatomy of cerebral revascularization in the anterior circulation by demonstrating various procedures for bypass surgery.

Methods. Twenty-five adult cadaveric specimens were studied, using 3 to 40 magnification, after the arteries and veins had been perfused with colored silicone. The microsurgical anatomy of cerebral revascularization in the anterior circulation was examined with the focus on the donor, recipient, and graft vessels. The techniques discussed in this paper include the superficial temporal artery (STA)—middle cerebral artery (MCA), middle meningeal artery (MMA)—MCA, and side-to-side anastomoses; short arterial and venous interposition grafting; and external carotid artery/internal carotid artery (ICA)—M2 and ICA—ICA bypasses. Bypass procedures for cerebral revascularization are divided into two categories depending on their flow volume: low-flow and high-flow bypasses. A low-flow bypass, such as the STA—MCA anastomosis, is used to cover a relatively small area, whereas a high-flow bypass, such as the ICA—ICA anastomosis, is used for larger areas. Cerebral revascularization techniques are also divided into two types depending on the graft materials: pedicled arterial grafts, such as STA and occipital artery grafts, and free venous or arterial grafts, which are usually saphenous vein and radial artery grafts. Pedicled arterial grafts are mainly used for low-flow bypasses, whereas venous or arterial grafts are used for high-flow bypasses.

Conclusions. It is important to understand the methods of bypass procedures and to consider indications in which cerebral revascularization is needed.

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Masatou Kawashima, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Necmettin Tanriover, Arthur J. Ulm, Alexandre Yasuda and Kiyotaka Fujii

Object. Revascularization is an important component of treatment for complex aneurysms, skull base tumors, and vertebrobasilar ischemia in the posterior circulation. In this study, the authors examined the microsurgical anatomy related to cerebral revascularization in the posterior circulation and demonstrate various procedures for bypass surgery.

Methods. The microsurgical anatomy of cerebral and cerebellar vessels as they relate to revascularization procedure and techniques, including extracranial-to-intracranial bypass grafting, arterial interposition grafting, and side-to-side anastomosis, were examined by performing stepwise dissections in 22 adult cadaveric specimens. The arteries and veins in the specimens were perfused with colored silicone.

Dominant cerebral and cerebellar revascularization procedures in the posterior circulations include superficial temporal artery (STA)—posterior cerebral artery (PCA), STA—superior cerebellar artery (SCA), occipital artery (OA)—anterior inferior cerebellar artery, OA—posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), and PICA—PICA anastomoses. These procedures are effective in relatively small but critical areas including the brainstem and cerebellum. For revascularization of larger areas a saphenous vein graft is used to create a bypass between the PCA and the external carotid artery. Surgical procedures are generally difficult to perform in deep and narrow operative spaces near critical vital structures.

Conclusions. Although a clear guideline for cerebral revascularization procedures has not yet been established, it is important to understand various microsurgical techniques and their related anatomical structures. This will help surgeons consider surgical indications for treatment of patients with vertebrobasilar ischemia caused by aneurysms, tumors, or atherosclerotic diseases in the posterior circulation.