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Mohamed A. Labib, Xiaochun Zhao, Lena Mary Houlihan, Irakliy Abramov, Joshua S. Catapano, Komal Naeem, Mark C. Preul, A. Samy Youssef, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The combined petrosal (CP) approach has been traditionally used to resect petroclival meningioma (PCM). The pretemporal transcavernous anterior petrosal (PTAP) approach has emerged as an alternative. A quantitative comparison of both approaches has not been made. This anatomical study compared the surgical corridors afforded by both approaches and identified key elements of the approach selection process.

METHODS

Twelve cadaveric specimens were dissected, and 10 were used for morphometric analysis. Groups A and B (n = 5 in each) underwent the CP and PTAP approaches, respectively. The area of drilled clivus, lengths of cranial nerves (CNs) II–X, length of posterior circulation vessels, surgical area of exposure of the brainstem, and angles of attack anterior and posterior to a common target were measured and compared.

RESULTS

The area of drilled clivus was significantly greater in group A than group B (mean ± SD 88.7 ± 17.1 mm2 vs 48.4 ± 17.9 mm2, p < 0.01). Longer segments of ipsilateral CN IV (52.4 ± 2.33 mm vs 46.5 ± 3.71 mm, p < 0.02), CN IX, and CN X (9.91 ± 3.21 mm vs 0.00 ± 0.00 mm, p < 0.01) were exposed in group A than group B. Shorter portions of CN II (9.31 ± 1.28 mm vs 17.6 ± 6.89 mm, p < 0.02) and V1 (26.9 ± 4.62 mm vs 32.4 ± 1.93 mm, p < 0.03) were exposed in group A than group B. Longer segments of ipsilateral superior cerebellar artery (SCA) were exposed in group A than group B (36.0 ± 4.91 mm vs 25.8 ± 3.55 mm, p < 0.02), but there was less exposure of contralateral SCA (0.00 ± 0.00 mm vs 7.95 ± 3.33 mm, p < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference between groups with regard to the combined area of the exposed cerebral peduncles and pons (p = 0.75). Although exposure of the medulla was limited, group A had significantly greater exposure of the medulla than group B (p < 0.01). Finally, group A had a smaller anterior angle of attack than group B (24.1° ± 5.62° vs 34.8° ± 7.51°, p < 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first study to quantitatively identify the advantages and limitations of the CP and PTAP approaches from an anatomical perspective. Understanding these data will aid in designing maximally effective yet minimally invasive approaches to PCM.

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Jacob L. Freeman, Raghuram Sampath, Steven Craig Quattlebaum, Michael A. Casey, Zach A. Folzenlogen, Vijay R. Ramakrishnan, and A. Samy Youssef

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal transmaxillary transpterygoid (TMTP) approach has been the gateway for lateral skull base exposure. Removal of the cartilaginous eustachian tube (ET) and lateral mobilization of the internal carotid artery (ICA) are technically demanding adjunctive steps that are used to access the petroclival region. The gained expansion of the deep working corridor provided by these maneuvers has yet to be quantified.

METHODS

The TMTP approach with cartilaginous ET removal and ICA mobilization was performed in 5 adult cadaveric heads (10 sides). Accessible portions of the petrous apex were drilled during the following 3 stages: 1) before ET removal, 2) after ET removal but before ICA mobilization, and 3) after ET removal and ICA repositioning. Resection volumes were calculated using 3D reconstructions generated from thin-slice CT scans obtained before and after each step of the dissection.

RESULTS

The average petrous temporal bone resection volumes at each stage were 0.21 cm3, 0.71 cm3, and 1.32 cm3 (p < 0.05, paired t-test). Without ET removal, inferior and superior access to the petrous apex was limited. Furthermore, without ICA mobilization, drilling was confined to the inferior two-thirds of the petrous apex. After mobilization, the resection was extended superiorly through the upper extent of the petrous apex.

CONCLUSIONS

The transpterygoid corridor to the petroclival region is maximally expanded by the resection of the cartilaginous ET and mobilization of the paraclival ICA. These added maneuvers expanded the deep window almost 6 times and provided more lateral access to the petroclival region with a maximum volume of 1.5 cm3. This may result in the ability to resect small-to-moderate sized intradural petroclival lesions up to that volume. Larger lesions may better be approached through an open transcranial approach.