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Hung Tzu Wen, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Raul Marino Jr.

Object. The authors introduce the surgical concept of the central core of a hemisphere, from which anatomical structures are disconnected during most current hemispherotomy techniques. They also propose key anatomical landmarks for hemispherotomies that can be used to disconnect the hemisphere from its lateral surface around the insula, through the lateral ventricle toward the midline.

Methods. This anatomical study was performed in five adult cadaveric heads following perfusion of the cerebral arteries and veins with colored latex. Anatomical landmarks were used in five hemispheric deafferentations. The central core of a hemisphere consists of extreme, external, and internal capsules; claustrum; lentiform and caudate nuclei; and thalamus. Externally, this core is covered by the insula and surrounded by the fornix, choroid plexus, and lateral ventricle. During most hemispherotomies, the surgeon reaches the lateral ventricle through the frontoparietal opercula or temporal lobe; removes the mesial temporal structures; and disconnects the frontal lobe ahead, the parietal and occipital lobes behind, and the intraventricular fibers of the corpus callosum above the central core. After a temporal lobectomy, the landmarks include the choroid plexus and posterior/ascending portion of the tentorium to disconnect the parietal and occipital lobes, the callosal sulcus or distal anterior cerebral artery (ACA) to sever the intraventricular fibers of the corpus callosum, and the head of the caudate nucleus and ACA to detach the frontal lobe.

Conclusions. These landmarks can be used in any hemispherotomy during which a cerebral hemisphere is disconnected from its lateral surface. Furthermore, they can be used to perform any resection around the central core of the hemisphere and the tentorial incisura.

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Necmettin Tanriover, Arthur J. Ulm, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Alexandre Yasuda

Object. The two most common surgical routes to the fourth ventricle are the transvermian and telovelar approaches. The purpose of this study was to compare the microanatomy and exposures gained through these approaches.

Methods. Ten formalin-fixed specimens were dissected in a stepwise manner to simulate the transvermian and telovelar surgical approaches. Stealth image guidance was used to compare the exposures and working angles obtained using these approaches.

The transvermian and telovelar approaches provided access to the entire rostrocaudal length of the fourth ventricle floor from the aqueduct to the obex. In addition, both approaches provided access to the entire width of the floor of the fourth ventricle. The major difference between the two approaches regarded the exposure of the lateral recess and the foramen of Luschka. The telovelar, but not the transvermian, approach exposed the lateral and superolateral recesses and the foramen of Luschka. The transvermian approach, which offered an incision through at least the lower third of the vermis, afforded a modest increase in the operator's working angle compared with the telovelar approach when accessing the rostral half of the fourth ventricle.

Conclusions. The transvermian approach provides slightly better visualization of the medial part of the superior half of the roof of the fourth ventricle. The telovelar approach, which lacks incision of any part of the cerebellum, provides an additional exposure to the lateral recesses and the foramen of Luschka.

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

Object. The purpose of this study was to define the topographic anatomy, arterial supply, and venous drainage of the insula and sylvian fissure.

Methods. The neural, arterial, and venous anatomy of the insula and sylvian fissure were examined in 43 cerebral hemispheres.

Conclusions. The majority of gyri and sulci of the frontoparietal and temporal opercula had a constant relationship to the insular gyri and sulci and provided landmarks for approaching different parts of the insula. The most lateral lenticulostriate artery, an important landmark in insular surgery, arose 14.6 mm from the apex of the insula and penetrated the anterior perforated substance 15.3 mm medial to the limen insulae. The superior trunk of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) and its branches supplied the anterior, middle, and posterior short gyri; the anterior limiting sulcus; the short sulci; and the insular apex. The inferior trunk supplied the posterior long gyrus, inferior limiting sulcus, and limen area in most hemispheres. Both of these trunks frequently contributed to the supply of the central insular sulcus and the anterior long gyrus. The areas of insular supply of the superior and inferior trunks did not overlap. The most constant insular area of supply by the cortical MCA branches was from the prefrontal and precentral arteries that supplied the anterior and middle short gyri, respectively. The largest insular perforating arteries usually arose from the central and angular arteries and most commonly entered the posterior half of the central insular sulcus and posterior long gyrus. Insular veins drained predominantly to the deep middle cerebral vein, although frequent connections to the superficial venous system were found. Of all the insular veins, the precentral insular vein was the one that most commonly connected to the superficial sylvian vein.

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Necmettin Tanriover, Masatou Kawashima, Albert L. Rhoton Jr, Arthur J. Ulm and Robert A. Mericle

Object. The cortical arteries arising from the main trunk of the middle cerebral artery, proximal to its bifurcation or trifurcation, are called “early branches.” The purpose of this study was to characterize these early branches.

Methods. The early branches were characterized according to their sites and patterns of origin, diameters, and relative proximity to the internal carotid artery bifurcation, as well as the course and area of supply of their cortical branches based on an examination of 50 hemispheres. Special attention was directed to the perforating arteries that arose from the early branches and entered the anterior perforated substance. The anatomical findings were compared with data obtained from 109 angiograms.

Conclusions. Early branches directed to the temporal and frontal lobes were found in 90 and 32% of the hemispheres, respectively. The early branches that arose more proximally from the M1 segment were larger than those arising distally. Lenticulostriate arteries arose from 81% of the early frontal branches (EFBs) and from 48% of the early temporal branches (ETBs). An average of two cortical arteries arose from the EFBs and 1.3 from the ETBs, the most common of which supplied the temporopolar and orbitofrontal areas. Although the microsurgical anatomy of the early branches demonstrates abundant diversity, they can be classified into clearly defined patterns based on anatomical features. These patterns can prove helpful in evaluating angiographic data and in planning an operative procedure.

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Masatou Kawashima, Necmettin Tanriover, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Toshio Matsushima

Object. The microsurgical anatomy of the C3–6 transverse processes and their relationship to the intertransverse space and vertebral artery (VA) were examined with special attention to the aspect exposed in the anterior surgical approach.

Methods. Ten adult cadaveric spines were examined (magnification levels × 3–40) after perfusion of the arteries and veins with colored silicone. The morphological detail of the transverse process and intertransverse space, the distances between selected surgical landmarks and the VA were measured, and the means and standard deviations were calculated. The osseous changes in the anterior root of the transverse process were classified according to their extent.

The transverse processes became smaller, and the anterior intertransverse spaces and the width of the VA exposed in the space increased in size proceeding from caudal to rostral levels, thus exposing the VA to increased risk of injury during procedures at cephalad levels. The distance between the medial border of the longus colli muscle and the VA decreased when proceeding caudally from C2–3 to C4–5 interspaces but began to increase at the level of C5–6. The VA coursed closer to the lateral border of the vertebral body than to the medial border of the anterior tubercle of the transverse process. Osseous changes consisting of thinning or defects in the anterior root of the transverse process were observed from C-3 to C-5. The thinning was most prominent in the lower half of the anterior root just above where the VA ascends behind the lower edge of the anterior root. The osseous change may reflect the erosive effect of the VA on the anterior root of the transverse process.

Conclusions. This study provides new information regarding the transverse process and especially the anterior root. An awareness of the thinness and defects in the anterior root of the transverse process and the relationships to the surrounding area will aid in reducing VA injury during anterior approaches to the cervical spine.

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Antonio C. M. Mussi and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

Object. In the past, access to the fourth ventricle was obtained by splitting the vermis or removing part of the cerebellum. The purpose of this study was to examine the access to the fourth ventricle achieved by opening the tela choroidea and inferior medullary velum, the two thin sheets of tissue that form the lower half of the roof of the fourth ventricle, without incising or removing part of the cerebellum.

Methods. Fifty formalin-fixed specimens, in which the arteries were perfused with red silicone and the veins with blue silicone, provided the material for this study. The dissections were performed in a stepwise manner to simulate the exposure that can be obtained by retracting the cerebellar tonsils and opening the tela choroidea and inferior medullary velum.

Conclusions. Gently displacing the tonsils laterally exposes both the tela choroidea and the inferior medullary velum. Opening the tela provides access to the floor and body of the ventricle from the aqueduct to the obex. The additional opening of the velum provides access to the superior half of the roof of the ventricle, the fastigium, and the superolateral recess. Elevating the tonsillar surface away from the posterolateral medulla exposes the tela, which covers the lateral recess, and opening this tela exposes the structure forming the walls of the lateral recess.

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Andrew D. Fine, Alberto Cardoso and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

Object. The authors describe the microsurgical anatomy of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) with an extradural origin and discuss its importance as a common variation.

Methods. The microsurgical anatomy of paired PICAs with an extradural origin were examined.

Conclusions. Five to 20% of PICAs have an extradural origin. In the case described, both PICAs arose extradurally from the third segment of the vertebral artery (VA). Both origins were less than 1 cm proximal to the site at which the VA penetrated the dura, and neither PICA gave rise to extradural branches. Extradurally, the PICAs coursed parallel to the VA and the C-1 nerve and the three structures penetrated the dura together. Intradurally, the PICAs remained lateral and posterior to the brainstem, whereas, in the common PICA configuration, the first segment of the PICA courses anterior to the medulla. Neither PICA sent branches to the anterior brainstem, which is commonly found in PICAs with an intradural origin. There were no soft-tissue or bone anomalies.

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Andrew D. Fine, Alberto Cardoso and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

Object

The authors describe the microsurgical anatomy of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) with an extradural origin and discuss its importance as a common variation.

Methods

The microsurgical anatomy of paired PICAs with an extradural origin were examined.

Conclusions

Five to 20% of PICAs have an extradural origin. In the case described, both PICAs arose extradurally from the third segment of the vertebral artery (VA). Both origins were less than 1 cm proximal to the site at which the VA penetrated the dura and neither PICA gave rise to extradural branches. Extradurally the PICAs coursed parallel to the VA and the C-1 nerve and the three structures penetrated the dura together. Intradurally, the PICAs remained lateral and posterior to the brainstem, whereas, in the common PICA configuration, the first segment of the PICA courses anterior to the medulla. Neither PICA sent branches to the anterior brainstem, which is commonly found in PICAs with an intradural origin. There were no soft-tissue or bone anomalies.

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Hung T. Wen, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., Toshiro Katsuta and Evandro de Oliveira

✓ Despite a large number of reports of the use of the far-lateral approach, some of the basic detail that is important in safely completing this exposure has not been defined or remains poorly understood. The basic far-lateral exposure provides access for the following approaches: 1) the transcondylar approach directed through the occipital condyle or the adjoining portions of the occipital and atlantal condyles; 2) the supracondylar approach directed through the area above the occipital condyle; and 3) the paracondylar exposure directed through the area lateral to the occipital condyle. The transcondylar approach provides access to the lower clivus and premedullary area. The supracondylar approach provides access to the region of, and medial to, the hypoglossal canal and jugular tubercle. The paracondylar approach, which includes drilling of the jugular process of the occipital bone in the area lateral to the occipital condyle, provides access to the posterior portion of the jugular foramen and to the mastoid on the lateral side of the jugular foramen. In this study, the anatomy important to completing the far-lateral approach and these modifications was examined in 12 cadaveric specimens. In the standard posterior and posterolateral approaches, an understanding of the individual suboccipital muscles is not essential. However, these muscles provide important landmarks for the far-lateral approach and its modifications. Other important considerations include the relationship of the occipital condyle to the foramen magnum, hypoglossal canal, jugular tubercle, the jugular process of the occipital bone, the mastoid, and the facial canal. These and other relationships important to completing these exposures were examined in this study.