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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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Robert C. Rennert, Martin P. Powers, Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Takanori Fukushima, John D. Day, Alexander A. Khalessi, and Michael L. Levy

OBJECTIVE

The far-lateral and extreme-lateral infrajugular transcondylar–transtubercular exposure (ELITE) and extreme-lateral transcondylar transodontoid (ELTO) approaches provide access to lesions of the foramen magnum, inferolateral to mid-clivus, and ventral pons and medulla. A subset of pathologies in this region require manipulation of the vertebral artery (VA)–dural interface. Although a cuff of dura is commonly left on the VA to avoid vessel injury during these approaches, there are varying descriptions of the degree of VA-dural separation that is safely achievable. In this paper the authors provide a detailed histological analysis of the VA-dural junction to guide microsurgical technique for posterolateral skull base approaches.

METHODS

An ELITE approach was performed on 6 preserved adult cadaveric specimens. The VA-dural entry site was resected, processed for histological analysis, and qualitatively assessed by a neuropathologist.

RESULTS

Histological analysis demonstrated a clear delineation between the intima and media of the VA in all specimens. No clear plane was identified between the connective tissue of the dura and the connective tissue of the VA adventitia.

CONCLUSIONS

The VA forms a contiguous plane with the connective tissue of the dura at its dural entry site. When performing posterolateral skull base approaches requiring manipulation of the VA-dural interface, maintenance of a dural cuff on the VA is critical to minimize the risk of vascular injury.

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Alan Bush, Maximiliano Nuñez, Alyssa K. Brisbin, Robert M. Friedlander, and Ezequiel Goldschmidt

OBJECTIVE

Cortical folding places regions that are separated by a large distance along the cortical surface in close proximity. This process is not homogeneous; regions such as the insular opercula have a much higher cortical surface distance (CSD) to euclidean distance (ED) than others. Here the authors explore the hypothesis that in the folded brain the CSD, and not the ED, determines regions of common irrigation, because this measure corresponds more closely with the distance along the prefolded brain, where the subarachnoid arterial vascular network starts forming.

METHODS

The authors defined a convergence index that compared the ED to the CSD and applied it to the cortical surface reconstruction of an average brain. They then compared cortical convergence to the irrigation patterns of major sulci and fissures of the brain, by assessing whether these structures were crossed or not crossed by arterial vessels in 20 fixed hemispheres.

RESULTS

The regions of highest convergence (top 1%) were clustered around the sylvian fissure, which is the only brain depression with high convergence values along its edges. Arterial crossings were commonly observed in every major sulcus of the brain, with the exception of the sylvian fissure, constituting a highly significant difference (p < 10−4).

CONCLUSIONS

Arteries do not cross regions of high convergence. In the adult brain the CSD, rather than the ED, predicts the regional irrigation pattern. The distant origin of the frontal and temporal lobes creates a region of high cortical convergence, which explains why arteries do not cross the sylvian fissure.

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

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate the morphology, connectivity, and correlative anatomy of the longitudinal group of fibers residing in the frontal area, which resemble the anterior extension of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and were previously described as the frontal longitudinal system (FLS).

METHODS

Fifteen normal adult formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres collected from cadavers were studied using the Klingler microdissection technique. Lateral to medial dissections were performed in a stepwise fashion starting from the frontal area and extending to the temporoparietal regions.

RESULTS

The FLS was consistently identified as a fiber pathway residing just under the superficial U-fibers of the middle frontal gyrus or middle frontal sulcus (when present) and extending as far as the frontal pole. The authors were able to record two different configurations: one consisting of two distinct, parallel, longitudinal fiber chains (13% of cases), and the other consisting of a single stem of fibers (87% of cases). The fiber chains’ cortical terminations in the frontal and prefrontal area were also traced. More specifically, the FLS was always recorded to terminate in Brodmann areas 6, 46, 45, and 10 (premotor cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, pars triangularis, and frontal pole, respectively), whereas terminations in Brodmann areas 4 (primary motor cortex), 47 (pars orbitalis), and 9 were also encountered in some specimens. In relation to the SLF system, the FLS represented its anterior continuation in the majority of the hemispheres, whereas in a few cases it was recorded as a completely distinct tract. Interestingly, the FLS comprised shorter fibers that were recorded to interconnect exclusively frontal areas, thus exhibiting different fiber architecture when compared to the long fibers forming the SLF.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study provides consistent, focused, and robust evidence on the morphology, architecture, and correlative anatomy of the FLS. This fiber system participates in the axonal connectivity of the prefrontal-premotor cortices and allegedly subserves cognitive-motor functions. Based in the SLF hypersegmentation concept that has been advocated by previous authors, the FLS should be approached as a distinct frontal segment within the superior longitudinal system.