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.