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Yuanzhi Xu, Ahmed Mohyeldin, Ayoze Doniz-Gonzalez, Vera Vigo, Felix Pastor-Escartin, Lingzhao Meng, Aaron A Cohen-Gadol, and Juan C Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECTIVE

The lateral posterior choroidal artery (LPChA) should be a major surgical consideration in the microsurgical management of lateral ventricular tumors. Here the authors aim to delineate the microsurgical anatomy of the LPChA by using anatomical microdissections. They describe the trajectory, segments, and variations of the LPChA and discuss the surgical implications when approaching the choroid plexus using different routes.

METHODS

Twelve colored silicone–injected, lightly fixed, postmortem human head specimens were prepared for dissection. The origin, diameter, trunk, course, segment, length, spatial relationships, and anastomosis of the LPChA were investigated. The surgical landmarks of 4 different approaches to the LPChA were also examined thoroughly.

RESULTS

The LPChA was present in 23 hemispheres (96%), and in 14 (61%) it originated from the posterior segment of the P2 (i.e., P2P); most commonly (61%) the LPChA had 2 trunks, and in 17 hemispheres (74%) it had a C-shaped trajectory. According to its course, the authors divided the LPChA into 3 segments: 1) cisternal, from PCA to choroidal fissure (length 10.6 ± 2.5 mm); 2) forniceal, starting at the choroidal fissure, 8.2 ± 5.7 mm posterior to the inferior choroidal point, and terminating at the posterior level of the choroidal fissure (length 28.7 ± 6.8 mm); and 3) pulvinar, starting at the posterior choroidal fissure and terminating in the pulvinar (length 5.9 ± 2.2 mm). The LPChA was divided into 3 patterns according to its entrance into the choroidal fissure: A (anterior) 78%; B (posterior) 13%; and C (mixed) 9%. The transsylvian trans–limen insulae approach provided the best exposure for cisternal and proximal forniceal segments; the lateral transtemporal approach facilitated a more direct approach to the forniceal segment, including cases with posterior entrance; the transparietal transcortical and contralateral posterior interhemispheric transfalcine transprecuneus approaches provided direct access to the pulvinar segment of the LPChA and to the posterior forniceal segment, including cases with posterior choroidal entrance.

CONCLUSIONS

The LPChA typically runs in the medial border of the choroid plexus, which may facilitate its recognition during surgery. The distance between the AChA at the inferior choroidal point and the LPChA is a valuable reference during surgery, but there are cases of posterior choroidal entrance. Most frequently, there are 2 or more LPChA trunks, which makes possible the sacrifice of one trunk feeding the tumor while preserving the other that provides supply to relevant structures. The intraventricular approaches can be selected based on the tumor location and the LPChA anatomy.

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Andrew S. Little, Vera Vigo, Arnau Benet, Sofia Kakaizada, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The transpterygoid extension of the endoscopic endonasal approach provides exposure of the petrous apex, Meckel’s cave, paraclival area, and the infratemporal fossa. Safe and efficient localization of the lacerum segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA) is a crucial part of such exposure. The aim of this study is to introduce a novel landmark for localization of the lacerum ICA.

METHODS

Ten cadaveric heads were prepared for transnasal endoscopic dissection. The floor of the sphenoid sinus was drilled to expose an extension of the pharyngobasilar fascia between the sphenoid floor and the pterygoid process (the pterygoclival ligament). Several features of the pterygoclival ligament were assessed. In addition, 31 dry skulls were studied to assess features of the bony groove harboring the pterygoclival ligament.

RESULTS

The pterygoclival ligament was identified bilaterally during drilling of the sphenoid floor in all specimens. The ligament started a few millimeters posterior to the posterior end of the vomer alae and invariably extended posterolaterally and superiorly to blend into the fibrous tissue around the lacerum ICA. The mean length of the ligament was 10.5 ± 1.7 mm. The mean distance between the anterior end of the ligament and midline was 5.2 ± 1.2 mm. The mean distance between the posterior end of the ligament and midline was 12.3 ± 1.4 mm. The bony pterygoclival groove was identified at the confluence of the vomer, pterygoid process of the sphenoid, and basilar part of the occipital bone, running from posterolateral to anteromedial. The mean length of the groove was 7.7 ± 1.8 mm. Its posterolateral end faced the anteromedial aspect of the foramen lacerum medial to the posterior end of the vidian canal. A clinical case illustration is also provided.

CONCLUSIONS

The pterygoclival ligament is a consistent landmark for localization of the lacerum ICA. It may be used as an adjunct or alternative to the vidian nerve to localize the ICA during endoscopic endonasal surgery.