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Tyler S. Cole, Sirin Gandhi, Justin R. Mascitelli, Douglas Hardesty, Claudio Cavallo and Michael T. Lawton

Venous interruption through surgical clip ligation is the gold standard treatment for ethmoidal dural arteriovenous fistula (e-dAVF). Their malignant natural history is attributable to the higher predilection for retrograde cortical venous drainage. This video illustrates an e-dAVF in a 70-year-old man with progressive tinnitus and headache. Angiogram revealed bilateral e-dAVFs (Borden III–Cognard III) with one fistula draining into cavernous sinus and another to the sagittal sinus. A bifrontal craniotomy was utilized for venous interruption of both e-dAVFs. Postoperative angiography confirmed curative obliteration with no postoperative anosmia. Bilateral e-dAVFs are rare but can be safely treated simultaneously through a single craniotomy.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/666edwKHGKc.

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Sirin Gandhi, Justin Mascitelli, Baran Bozkurt, Gyang Bot, Mark C. Preul and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Access to the ventrolateral pontomesencephalic area may be required for resecting cavernous malformations, performing revascularization of the upper posterior circulation, and treating vascular lesions such as aneurysms. However, such access is challenging because of nearby eloquent structures. Commonly used corridors to this surgical area include the optico-carotid, supracarotid, and carotid-oculomotor triangles. However, the window lateral to the oculomotor nerve can also be used and has not been studied. The authors describe the anatomical window formed between the oculomotor nerve and the medial tentorial edge (the oculomotor-tentorial triangle [OTT]) to the ventrolateral pontomesencephalic area, and assess techniques to expand it.

METHODS

Four cadaveric heads (8 sides) underwent orbitozygomatic craniotomy. The OTT was exposed via a pretemporal approach. The contents of the OTT were determined and their anatomical features were recorded. Also, dimensions of the brainstem surface exposed lateral and inferior to the oculomotor nerve were measured. Measurements were repeated after completing a transcavernous approach (TcA), and after resection of temporal lobe uncus (UnR).

RESULTS

The s1 segment and proximal s2 segment of the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) and P2A segment of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) were the main contents of the OTT, with average exposed lengths of 6.4 ± 1.3 mm and 5.5 ± 1.6 mm for the SCA and PCA, respectively. The exposed length of the SCA increased to 9.6 ± 2.7 mm after TcA (p = 0.002), and reached 11.6 ± 2.4 mm following UnR (p = 0.004). The exposed PCA length increased to 6.2 ± 1.6 mm after TcA (p = 0.04), and reached 10.4 ± 1.8 mm following UnR (p < 0.001). The brainstem surface was exposed 7.1 ± 0.5 mm inferior and 5.6 ± 0.9 mm lateral to the oculomotor nerve initially. The exposure inferior to the oculomotor nerve increased to 9.3 ± 1.7 mm after TcA (p = 0.003), and to 9.9 ± 2.5 mm after UnR (p = 0.21). The exposure lateral to the oculomotor nerve increased to 8.0 ± 1.7 mm after TcA (p = 0.001), and to 10.4 ± 2.4 mm after UnR (p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

The OTT is an anatomical window that provides generous access to the upper ventrolateral pontomesencephalic area, s1- and s2-SCA, and P2A-PCA. This window may be efficiently used to address various pathologies in the region and is considerably expandable by TcA and/or UnR.

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Justin R. Mascitelli, Sirin Gandhi, Ali Tayebi Meybodi and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Pathology in the region of the basilar quadrifurcation, anterolateral midbrain, medial tentorium, and interpeduncular and ambient cisterns may be accessed anteriorly via an orbitozygomatic (OZ) craniotomy. In Part 1 of this series, the authors explored the anatomy of the oculomotor-tentorial triangle (OTT). In Part 2, the versatility of the OTT as a surgical workspace for treating vascular pathology is demonstrated.

METHODS

Sixty patients with 61 vascular pathologies treated within or via the OTT from 1998 to 2017 by the senior author were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were grouped together based on pathology/surgical procedure and included 1) aneurysms (n = 19); 2) posterior cerebral artery (PCA)/superior cerebellar artery (SCA) bypasses (n = 24); 3) brainstem cavernous malformations (CMs; n = 14); and 4) tentorial region dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs; n = 4). The majority of patients were approached via an OZ craniotomy, wide sylvian fissure split, and temporal lobe mobilization to widen the OTT.

RESULTS

Aneurysm locations included the P1-P2 junction (n = 7), P2A segment (n = 9), P2/3 (n = 2), and basilar quadrification (n = 1). Aneurysm treatments included clip reconstruction (n = 12), wrapping (n = 3), proximal occlusion (n = 2), and trapping with (n = 1) or without (n = 1) bypass. Pathologies in the bypass group included vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI; n = 3) and aneurysms of the basilar trunk (n = 13), basilar apex (n = 4), P1 PCA (n = 2), and s1 SCA (n = 2). Bypasses included M2 middle cerebral artery (MCA)–radial artery graft (RAG)–P2 PCA (n = 8), M2 MCA–saphenous vein graft (SVG)–P2 PCA (n = 3), superficial temporal artery (STA)–P2 PCA (n = 5) or STA–s1 SCA (n = 3), s1 SCA–P2 PCA (n = 1), V3 vertebral artery (VA)–RAG–s1 SCA (n = 1), V3 VA–SVG–P2 PCA (n = 1), anterior temporal artery–s1 SCA (n = 1), and external carotid artery (ECA)–SVG–s1 SCA (n = 1). CMs were located in the midbrain (n = 10) or pontomesencephalic junction (n = 4). dAVFs drained into the tentorial, superior petrosal, cavernous, and sphenobasal sinuses. High rates of aneurysm occlusion (79%), bypass patency (100%), complete CM resection (86%), and dAVF obliteration (100%) were obtained. The overall rate of permanent oculomotor nerve palsy was 8.3%. The majority of patients in the aneurysm (94%), CM (93%), and dAVF (100%) groups had stable or improved modified Rankin Scale scores.

CONCLUSIONS

The OTT is an important anatomical triangle and surgical workspace for vascular lesions in and around the crural and ambient cisterns. The OTT can be used to approach a wide variety of vascular pathologies in the region of the basilar quadrifurcation and anterolateral midbrain.

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Sirin Gandhi, Mark C. Preul and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

Exposure of the vertebral artery (VA) between C-1 and C-2 vertebrae (atlantoaxial VA) may be necessary in a variety of pathologies of the craniovertebral junction. Current methods to expose this segment of the VA entail sharp dissection of muscles close to the internal jugular vein and the spinal accessory nerve. The present study assesses the technique of exposing the atlantoaxial VA through a newly defined muscular triangle at the craniovertebral junction.

METHODS

Five cadaveric heads were prepared for surgical simulation in prone position, turned 30°–45° toward the side of exposure. The atlantoaxial VA was exposed through the subatlantic triangle after reflecting the sternocleidomastoid and splenius capitis muscles inferiorly. The subatlantic triangle was formed by 3 groups of muscles: 1) the levator scapulae and splenius cervicis muscles inferiorly and laterally, 2) the longissimus capitis muscle inferiorly and medially, and 3) the inferior oblique capitis superiorly. The lengths of the VA exposed through the triangle before and after unroofing the C-2 transverse foramen were measured.

RESULTS

The subatlantic triangle consistently provided access to the whole length of atlantoaxial VA. The average length of the VA exposed via the subatlantic triangle was 19.5 mm. This average increased to 31.5 mm after the VA was released at the C-2 transverse foramen.

CONCLUSIONS

The subatlantic triangle provides a simple and straightforward pathway to expose the atlantoaxial VA. The proposed method may be useful during posterior approaches to the craniovertebral junction should early exposure and control of the atlantoaxial VA become necessary.

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Arnau Benet, Halima Tabani, Xinmin Ding, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Roberto Rodriguez Rubio, Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Peyton Nisson, Olivia Kola, Sirin Gandhi, Sonia Yousef and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The occipital artery (OA) is a frequently used donor vessel for posterior circulation bypass procedures due to its proximity to the recipient vessels and its optimal caliber, length, and flow rate. However, its tortuous course through multiple layers of suboccipital muscles necessitates layer-by-layer dissection. The authors of this cadaveric study aimed to describe a landmark-based novel anterograde approach to harvest OA in a proximal-to-distal “inside-out” fashion, which avoids multilayer dissection.

METHODS

Sixteen cadaveric specimens were prepared for surgical simulation, and the OA was harvested using the classic (n = 2) and novel (n = 14) techniques. The specimens were positioned three-quarters prone, with 45° contralateral head rotation. An inverted hockey-stick incision was made from the spinous process of C-2 to the mastoid tip, and the distal part of the OA was divided to lift up a myocutaneous flap, including the nuchal muscles. The OA was identified using the occipital groove (OG), the digastric muscle (DM) and its groove (DG), and the superior oblique muscle (SOM) as key landmarks. The OA was harvested anterogradely from the OG and within the flap until the skin incision was reached (proximal-to-distal technique). In addition, 35 dry skulls were assessed bilaterally (n = 70) to study additional craniometric landmarks to infer the course of the OA in the OG.

RESULTS

The OA was consistently found running in the OG, which was found between the posterior belly of the DM and the SOM. The mean total length of the mobilized OA was 12.8 ± 1.2 cm, with a diameter of 1.3 ± 0.1 mm at the suboccipital segment and 1.1 ± 0.1 mm at the skin incision. On dry skulls, the occipitomastoid suture (OMS) was found to be medial to the OG in the majority of the cases (68.6%), making it a useful landmark to locate the OG and thus the proximal OA.

CONCLUSIONS

The anterograde transperiosteal inside-out approach for harvesting the OA is a fast and easy technique. It requires only superficial dissection because the OA is found directly under the periosteum throughout its course, obviating tedious layer-by-layer muscle dissection. This approach avoids critical neurovascular structures like the vertebral artery. The key landmarks needed to localize the OA using this technique include the OMS, OG, DM and DG, and SOM.

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Brian P. Walcott, Jae Seung Bang, Omar Choudhri, Sirin Gandhi, Halima Tabani, Arnau Benet and Michael T. Lawton

A 46-year-old male presented with an incidentally discovered left ventricular body arteriovenous malformation (AVM). It measured 2 cm in diameter and had drainage via an atrial vein into the internal cerebral vein (Spetzler-Martin Grade III, Supplementary Grade 4). Preoperative embolization of the posterior medial choroidal artery reduced nidus size by 50%. Subsequently, he underwent a right-sided craniotomy for a contralateral transcallosal approach to resect the AVM. This case demonstrates strategic circumferential disconnection of feeding arteries (FAs) to the nidus, the use of aneurysm clips to control large FAs, and the use of dynamic retraction and importance of a generous callosotomy. Postoperatively, he was neurologically intact, and angiogram confirmed complete resection.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/j0778LfS3MI.