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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Arnau Benet, Vera Vigo, Roberto Rodriguez Rubio, Sonia Yousef, Pooneh Mokhtari, Flavia Dones, Sofia Kakaizada, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECTIVE

The expanded endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has shown promising results in treatment of midline skull base lesions. Several case reports exist on the utilization of the EEA for treatment of aneurysms. However, a comparison of this approach with the classic transcranial orbitozygomatic approach to the basilar apex (BAX) region is missing.

The present study summarizes the results of a series of cadaveric surgical simulations for assessment of the EEA to the BAX region for aneurysm clipping and its comparison with the transcranial orbitozygomatic approach as one of the most common approaches used to treat BAX aneurysms.

METHODS

Fifteen cadaveric specimens underwent bilateral orbitozygomatic craniotomies as well as an EEA (first without a pituitary transposition [PT] and then with a PT) to expose the BAX. The following variables were measured, recorded, and compared between the orbitozygomatic approach and the EEA: 1) number of perforating arteries counted on bilateral posterior cerebral arteries (PCAs); 2) exposure and clipping lengths of the PCAs, superior cerebellar arteries (SCAs), and proximal basilar artery; and 3) surgical area of exposure in the BAX region.

RESULTS

Except for the proximal basilar artery exposure and clipping, the orbitozygomatic approach provided statistically significantly greater values for vascular exposure and control in the BAX region (i.e., exposure and clipping of ipsilateral and contralateral SCAs and PCAs). The EEA with PT was significantly better in exposing and clipping bilateral PCAs compared to EEA without a PT, but not in terms of other measured variables. The surgical area of exposure and PCA perforator counts were not significantly different between the 3 approaches. The EEA provided better exposure and control if the BAX was located ≥ 4 mm inferior to the dorsum sellae.

CONCLUSIONS

For BAX aneurysms located in the retrosellar area, PT is usually required to obtain improved exposure and control for the bilateral PCAs. However, the transcranial approach is generally superior to both endoscopic approaches for accessing the BAX region. Considering the superior exposure of the proximal basilar artery obtained with the EEA, it could be a viable option when surgical treatment is considered for a low-lying BAX or mid–basilar trunk aneurysms (≥ 4 mm inferior to dorsum sellae).

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Michael T. Lawton, Dylan Griswold, Pooneh Mokhtari, Andre Payman, Halima Tabani, Sonia Yousef, and Arnau Benet

OBJECTIVE

In various disease processes, including unclippable aneurysms, a bypass to the upper posterior circulation (UPC) including the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) may be needed. Various revascularization options exist, but the role of intracranial (IC) donors has not been scrutinized. The objective of this study was to evaluate the anatomical feasibility of utilizing the anterior temporal artery (ATA) for revascularization of the UPC.

METHODS

ATA-SCA and ATA-PCA bypasses were performed on 14 cadaver specimens. After performing an orbitozygomatic craniotomy and opening the basal cisterns, the ATA was divided at the M3-M4 junction and mobilized to the crural cistern to complete an end-to-side bypass to the SCA and PCA. The length of the recipient artery between the anastomosis and origin was measured.

RESULTS

Seventeen ATAs were found. Successful anastomosis was performed in 14 (82%) of the ATAs. The anastomosis point on the PCA was 14.2 mm from its origin on the basilar artery. The SCA anastomosis point was 10.1 mm from its origin. Three ATAs did not reach the UPC region due to a common opercular origin with the middle temporal artery. The ATA-SCA bypass was also applied to the management of an incompletely coiled SCA aneurysm.

CONCLUSIONS

The ATA is a promising IC donor for UPC revascularization. The ATA is exposed en route to the proximal SCA and PCA through the pterional-orbitozygomatic approach. Also, the end-to-side anastomosis provides an efficient and straightforward bypass without the need to harvest a graft or perform multiple or difficult anastomoses.

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Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Michael T. Lawton, Sonia Yousef, Xiaoming Guo, Jose Juan González Sánchez, Halima Tabani, Sergio García, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, and Arnau Benet

Anterior clinoidectomy is a difficult yet essential technique in skull base surgery. Two main techniques (extradural and intradural) with multiple modifications have been proposed to increase efficiency and avoid complications. In this study, the authors sought to develop a hybrid technique based on localization of the optic strut (OS) to combine the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of both techniques.

Ten cadaveric specimens were prepared for surgical simulation. After a standard pterional craniotomy, the anterior clinoid process (ACP) was resected in 2 steps. The segment anterior to the OS was resected extradurally, while the segment posterior to the OS was resected intradurally. The proposed technique was performed in 6 clinical cases to evaluate its safety and efficiency.

Anterior clinoidectomy was successfully performed in all cadaveric specimens and all 6 patients by using the proposed technique. The extradural phase enabled early decompression of the optic nerve while avoiding the adjacent internal carotid artery. The OS was drilled intradurally under direct visualization of the adjacent neurovascular structures. The described landmarks were easily identifiable and applicable in the surgically treated patients. No operative complication was encountered.

A proposed 2-step hybrid technique combines the advantages of the extradural and intradural techniques while avoiding their disadvantages. This technique allows reduced intradural drilling and subarachnoid bone dust deposition. Moreover, the most critical part of the clinoidectomy—that is, drilling of the OS and removal of the body of the ACP—is left for the intradural phase, when critical neurovascular structures can be directly viewed.

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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.