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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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Igor Lima Maldonado, Christophe Destrieux, Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Bruna Siqueira de Abreu Brito Guimarães, Patrícia Pontes Cruz, and Hugues Duffau

OBJECTIVE

The sagittal stratum is divided into two layers. In classic descriptions, the stratum sagittale internum corresponds to optic radiations (RADs), whereas the stratum sagittale externum corresponds to fibers of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus. Although advanced for the time it was proposed, this schematic organization seems simplistic considering the recent progress on the understanding of cerebral connectivity and needs to be updated. Therefore, the authors sought to investigate the composition of the sagittal stratum and to detail the anatomical relationships among the macroscopic fasciculi.

METHODS

The authors performed a layer-by-layer fiber dissection from the superolateral aspect to the ventricular cavity in 20 cadaveric human hemispheres.

RESULTS

Diverse bundles of white matter were observed to contribute to the sagittal stratum and their spatial arrangement was highly consistent from one individual to another. This was the case of the middle longitudinal fasciculus, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the RADs, and other posterior thalamic radiations directed to nonvisual areas of the cerebral cortex. In addition, small contributions to the sagittal stratum came from the anterior commissure anteriorly and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus inferiorly.

CONCLUSIONS

A general model of sagittal stratum organization in layers is possible, but the composition of the external layer is much more complex than is mentioned in classic descriptions. A small contribution of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus is the main difference between the present results and the classic descriptions in which this bundle was considered to entirely correspond to the stratum sagittale externum. This subject has important implications both for fundamental research and neurosurgery, as well as for the development of surgical approaches for the cerebral parenchyma and ventricular system.

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Spyridon Komaitis, Christos Koutsarnakis, Evgenia Lani, Theodosis Kalamatianos, Evangelos Drosos, Georgios P. Skandalakis, Faidon Liakos, Evangelia Liouta, Aristotelis V. Kalyvas, and George Stranjalis

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to investigate the very existence and map the topography, morphology, and axonal connectivity of a thus far ill-defined subcortical pathway known as the fronto-caudate tract (FCT) since there is a paucity of direct structural evidence regarding this pathway in the relevant literature.

METHODS

Twenty normal adult cadaveric formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres (10 left and 10 right) were explored through the fiber microdissection technique. Lateral to medial and medial to lateral dissections were carried out in a tandem manner in all hemispheres. Attention was focused on the prefrontal area and central core since previous diffusion tensor imaging studies have recorded the tract to reside in this territory.

RESULTS

In all cases, the authors readily identified the FCT as a fan-shaped pathway lying in the most medial layer of the corona radiata and traveling across the subependymal plane before terminating on the superolateral margin of the head and anterior part of the body of the caudate nucleus. The FCT could be adequately differentiated from adjacent fiber tracts and was consistently recorded to terminate in Brodmann areas 8, 9, 10, and 11 (anterior pre–supplementary motor area and the dorsolateral, frontopolar, and fronto-orbital prefrontal cortices). The authors were also able to divide the tract into a ventral and a dorsal segment according to the respective topography and connectivity observed. Hemispheric asymmetries were not observed, but instead the authors disclosed asymmetry within the FCT, with the ventral segment always being thicker and bulkier than the dorsal one.

CONCLUSIONS

By using the fiber microdissection technique, the authors provide sound structural evidence on the topography, morphology, and connectional anatomy of the FCT as a distinct part of a wider frontostriatal circuitry. The findings are in line with the tract’s putative functional implications in high-order motor and behavioral processes and can potentially inform current surgical practice in the fields of neuro-oncology and functional neurosurgery.

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Spyridon Komaitis, Christos Koutsarnakis, Evgenia Lani, Theodosis Kalamatianos, Evangelos Drosos, Georgios P. Skandalakis, Faidon Liakos, Evangelia Liouta, Aristotelis V. Kalyvas, and George Stranjalis

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to investigate the very existence and map the topography, morphology, and axonal connectivity of a thus far ill-defined subcortical pathway known as the fronto-caudate tract (FCT) since there is a paucity of direct structural evidence regarding this pathway in the relevant literature.

METHODS

Twenty normal adult cadaveric formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres (10 left and 10 right) were explored through the fiber microdissection technique. Lateral to medial and medial to lateral dissections were carried out in a tandem manner in all hemispheres. Attention was focused on the prefrontal area and central core since previous diffusion tensor imaging studies have recorded the tract to reside in this territory.

RESULTS

In all cases, the authors readily identified the FCT as a fan-shaped pathway lying in the most medial layer of the corona radiata and traveling across the subependymal plane before terminating on the superolateral margin of the head and anterior part of the body of the caudate nucleus. The FCT could be adequately differentiated from adjacent fiber tracts and was consistently recorded to terminate in Brodmann areas 8, 9, 10, and 11 (anterior pre–supplementary motor area and the dorsolateral, frontopolar, and fronto-orbital prefrontal cortices). The authors were also able to divide the tract into a ventral and a dorsal segment according to the respective topography and connectivity observed. Hemispheric asymmetries were not observed, but instead the authors disclosed asymmetry within the FCT, with the ventral segment always being thicker and bulkier than the dorsal one.

CONCLUSIONS

By using the fiber microdissection technique, the authors provide sound structural evidence on the topography, morphology, and connectional anatomy of the FCT as a distinct part of a wider frontostriatal circuitry. The findings are in line with the tract’s putative functional implications in high-order motor and behavioral processes and can potentially inform current surgical practice in the fields of neuro-oncology and functional neurosurgery.

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Jacob D. Bond, Zhaoyang Xu, and Ming Zhang

OBJECTIVE

The extradural neural axis compartment (EDNAC) is an adipovenous zone that is located between the meningeal (ML) and endosteal (EL) layers of the dura mater and has been minimally investigated in the jugular foramen (JF) region. In this study, the authors aimed to explore the fine architecture of the EDNAC within the JF and evaluate whether the EDNAC can be used as a component for JF compartmentalization.

METHODS

A total of 46 cadaveric heads (31 male, 15 female; age range 54–96 years) and 30 dry skulls were examined in this study. Twelve of 46 cadaveric heads were plastinated as a series of transverse (7 sets), coronal (3 sets), and sagittal (2 sets) slices and examined using stereomicroscopy and confocal microscopy. The dural entry points of the JF cranial nerves were recorded in 34 cadaveric skulls. The volumes of the JF, intraforaminal EDNAC, and internal jugular vein (IJV) were quantified.

RESULTS

Based on constant osseous landmarks, the JF was subdivided into preforaminal, intraforaminal, and subforaminal segments. The ML-derived fascial sheath along the anteromedial wall of the IJV demarcated the “venous portion” and the “EDNAC portion” of the bipartite JF. The EDNAC did not surround the intraforaminal IJV and comprised an ML-derived dural fibrous network and an adipose matrix. A fibrovenous curtain subdivided the intraforaminal EDNAC into a small anterior column containing cranial nerve (CN) IX and the anterior condylar venous plexus and a large posterior adipose column containing CNs X and XI. In the intraforaminal segment, the IJV occupied a slightly larger space in the foramen (57%; p < 0.01), whereas in the subforaminal segment it occupied a space of similar size to that of the EDNAC.

CONCLUSIONS

Excluding the IJV, the neurovascular structures in the JF traverse the dural fibrous network that is dominant in the foraminal EDNAC. The results of this study will contribute to anatomical knowledge of the obscure yet crucially important JF region, increase understanding of foraminal tumor growth and spread patterns, and facilitate the planning and execution of surgical interventions.

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Rafael Martínez-Pérez, Thiago Albonette-Felicio, Douglas A. Hardesty, and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECTIVE

Keyhole approaches, namely the minipterional approach (MPTa) and the supraorbital approach (SOa), are alternatives to the standard pterional approach to treat lesions located in the anterior and middle cranial fossae. Despite their increasing popularity and acceptance, the indications and limitations of these approaches require further assessment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the differences in the area of surgical exposure and surgical maneuverability provided by the MPTa and SOa.

METHODS

The areas of surgical exposure afforded by the MPTa and SOa were analyzed in 12 sides of cadaver heads by using a microscope and a neuronavigation system. The area of exposure of the region of interest and surgical freedom (maneuverability) of each approach were calculated.

RESULTS

The area of exposure was significantly larger in the MPTa than in the SOa (1250 ± 223 mm2 vs 939 ± 139 mm2, p = 0.002). The MPTa provided larger areas of exposure in the ipsilateral and midline compartments, whereas there was no significant difference in the area of exposure in the contralateral compartment. All targets in the anterior circulation had significantly larger areas of surgical freedom when treated via the MPTa versus the SOa.

CONCLUSIONS

The MPTa provides greater surgical exposure and better maneuverability than that offered by the SOa. The SOa may be advantageous as a direct corridor for treating lesions located in the contralateral side or in the anterior cranial fossa, but the surgical exposure provided in the midline region is inferior to that exposed by the MPTa.

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Rafael Martínez-Pérez, Thiago Albonette-Felicio, Douglas A. Hardesty, and Daniel M. Prevedello

OBJECTIVE

Keyhole approaches, namely the minipterional approach (MPTa) and the supraorbital approach (SOa), are alternatives to the standard pterional approach to treat lesions located in the anterior and middle cranial fossae. Despite their increasing popularity and acceptance, the indications and limitations of these approaches require further assessment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the differences in the area of surgical exposure and surgical maneuverability provided by the MPTa and SOa.

METHODS

The areas of surgical exposure afforded by the MPTa and SOa were analyzed in 12 sides of cadaver heads by using a microscope and a neuronavigation system. The area of exposure of the region of interest and surgical freedom (maneuverability) of each approach were calculated.

RESULTS

The area of exposure was significantly larger in the MPTa than in the SOa (1250 ± 223 mm2 vs 939 ± 139 mm2, p = 0.002). The MPTa provided larger areas of exposure in the ipsilateral and midline compartments, whereas there was no significant difference in the area of exposure in the contralateral compartment. All targets in the anterior circulation had significantly larger areas of surgical freedom when treated via the MPTa versus the SOa.

CONCLUSIONS

The MPTa provides greater surgical exposure and better maneuverability than that offered by the SOa. The SOa may be advantageous as a direct corridor for treating lesions located in the contralateral side or in the anterior cranial fossa, but the surgical exposure provided in the midline region is inferior to that exposed by the MPTa.

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Leandro Borba Moreira, Andrew S. Little, Michael T. Lawton, and Mark C. Preul

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) are increasingly being incorporated into the neurosurgeon’s armamentarium for treatment of various pathologies, including paraclinoid aneurysms. However, few anatomical assessments have been performed on the use of EEA for this purpose. The aim of the present study was to provide a comprehensive anatomical assessment of the EEA for the treatment of paraclinoid aneurysms.

METHODS

Five cadaveric heads underwent an endonasal transplanum-transtuberculum approach to expose the paraclinoid area. The feasibility of obtaining proximal and distal internal carotid artery (ICA) control as well as the topographic location of the origin of the ophthalmic artery (OphA) relative to dural landmarks were assessed. Limitations of the EEA in exposing the supraclinoid ICA were also recorded to identify favorable paraclinoid ICA aneurysm projections for EEA.

RESULTS

The extracavernous paraclival and clinoidal ICAs were favorable segments for establishing proximal control. Clipping the extracavernous ICA risked injury to the trigeminal and abducens nerves, whereas clipping the clinoidal segment put the oculomotor nerve at risk. The OphA origin was found within 4 mm of the medial opticocarotid point on a line connecting the midtubercular recess point to the medial vertex of the lateral opticocarotid recess. An average 7.2-mm length of the supraclinoid ICA could be safely clipped for distal control. Assessments showed that small superiorly or medially projecting aneurysms were favorable candidates for clipping via EEA.

CONCLUSIONS

When used for paraclinoid aneurysms, the EEA carries certain risks to adjacent neurovascular structures during proximal control, dural opening, and distal control. While some authors have promoted this approach as feasible, this work demonstrates that it has significant limitations and may only be appropriate in highly selected cases that are not amenable to coiling or clipping. Further clinical experience with this approach helps to delineate its risks and benefits.

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Wei-Hsin Wang, Stefan Lieber, Roger Neves Mathias, Xicai Sun, Paul A. Gardner, Carl H. Snyderman, Eric W. Wang, and Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda

OBJECTIVE

The foramen lacerum is a relevant skull base structure that has been neglected for many years. From the endoscopic endonasal perspective, the foramen lacerum is a key structure due to its location at the crossroad between the sagittal and coronal planes. The objective of this study was to provide a detailed investigation of the surgical anatomy of the foramen lacerum and its adjacent structures based on anatomical dissections and imaging studies, propose several relevant key surgical landmarks, and demonstrate the surgical technique for its full exposure with several illustrative cases.

METHODS

Ten colored silicone-injected anatomical specimens were dissected using a transpterygoid approach to the foramen lacerum region in a stepwise manner. Five similar specimens were used for a comparative transcranial approach. The osseous anatomy was examined in 32 high-resolution multislice CT studies and 1 disarticulated skull. Representative cases were selected to illustrate the application of the findings.

RESULTS

The pterygosphenoidal fissure is the synchondrosis between the lacerum process of the pterygoid bone and the floor of the sphenoid bone. It constantly converges with the posterior end of the vidian canal at a 45° angle, and its posterolateral end points directly to the lacerum foramen. The pterygoid tubercle separates the vidian canal from the pterygosphenoidal fissure, and forms the anterior wall of the lower part of the foramen lacerum. The lingual process, which forms the lateral wall of the foramen lacerum, was identified in 53 of 64 sides and featured an average height of 5 mm. The mandibular strut separates the foramen lacerum from the foramen ovale and had an average width of 5 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides relevant surgical landmarks and a systematic approach to the foramen lacerum by defining anterior, medial, lateral, and inferior walls that may facilitate its safe exposure for effective removal of lesions while minimizing the risk of injury to the internal carotid artery.

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Maria Peris-Celda, Avital Perry, Lucas P. Carlstrom, Christopher S. Graffeo, Colin L. W. Driscoll, and Michael J. Link

OBJECTIVE

Middle fossa surgery is challenging, and reliable surgical landmarks are essential to perform accurate and safe surgery. Although many descriptions of the middle fossa components have been published, a clinically practical description of this very complex anatomical region is lacking. Small structure arrangements in this area are often not well visualized or accurately demarcated with neuronavigation systems. The objective is to describe a “roadmap” of key surgical reference points and landmarks during middle fossa surgery to help the surgeon predict where critical structures will be located.

METHODS

The authors studied 40 dry skulls (80 sides) obtained from the anatomical board at their institution. Measurements of anatomical structures in the middle fossa were made with a digital caliper and a protractor, taking as reference the middle point of the external auditory canal (MEAC). The results were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS

The petrous part of the temporal bone was found at a mean of 16 mm anterior and 24 mm posterior to the MEAC. In 87% and 99% of the sides, the foramen ovale and foramen spinosum, respectively, were encountered deep to the zygomatic root. The posterior aspect of the greater superficial petrosal nerve (GSPN) groove was a mean of 6 mm anterior and 25 mm medial to the MEAC, nearly parallel to the petrous ridge. The main axis of the IAC projected to the root of the zygoma in all cases. The internal auditory canal (IAC) porus was found 5.5 mm lateral and 4.5 mm deep to the lateral aspect of the trigeminal impression along the petrous ridge (mean measurement values). A projection from this point to the middle aspect of the root of the zygoma, being posterior to the GSPN groove, could estimate the orientation of the IAC.

CONCLUSIONS

In middle fossa approaches, the external acoustic canal is a reliable reference before skin incision, whereas the zygomatic root becomes important after the skin incision. Deep structures can be related to these 2 anatomical structures. An easy method to predict the location of the IAC in surgery is described. Careful study of the preoperative imaging is essential to adapt this knowledge to the individual anatomy of the patient.