Ken Matsushima, Kaan Yagmurlu, Michihiro Kohno and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.
Fissure dissection is routinely used in the supratentorial region to access deeply situated pathology while minimizing division of neural tissue. Use of fissure dissection is also practical in the posterior fossa. In this study, the microsurgical anatomy of the 3 cerebellar-brainstem fissures (cerebellomesencephalic, cerebellopontine, and cerebellomedullary) and the various procedures exposing these fissures in brainstem surgery were examined.
Seven cadaveric heads were examined with a microsurgical technique and 3 with fiber dissection to clarify the anatomy of the cerebellar-brainstem and adjacent cerebellar fissures, in which the major vessels and neural structures are located. Several approaches directed along the cerebellar surfaces and fissures, including the supracerebellar infratentorial, occipital transtentorial, retrosigmoid, and midline suboccipital approaches, were examined. The 3 heads examined using fiber dissection defined the anatomy of the cerebellar peduncles coursing in the depths of these fissures.
Dissections directed along the cerebellar-brainstem and cerebellar fissures provided access to the posterior and posterolateral midbrain and upper pons, lateral pons, floor and lateral wall of the fourth ventricle, and dorsal and lateral medulla.
Opening the cerebellar-brainstem and adjacent cerebellar fissures provided access to the brainstem surface hidden by the cerebellum, while minimizing division of neural tissue. Most of the major cerebellar arteries, veins, and vital neural structures are located in or near these fissures and can be accessed through them.
Maysam Alimohamadi and Madjid Samii
Tomas Poblete, Xiaochun Jiang, Noritaka Komune, Ken Matsushima and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.
There continues to be confusion over how best to preserve the branches of the facial nerve to the frontalis muscle when elevating a frontotemporal (pterional) scalp flap. The object of this study was to examine the full course of the branches of the facial nerve that must be preserved to maintain innervation of the frontalis muscle during elevation of a frontotemporal scalp flap.
Dissection was performed to follow the temporal branches of facial nerves along their course in 5 adult, cadaveric heads (n = 10 extracranial facial nerves).
Preserving the nerves to the frontalis muscle requires an understanding of the course of the nerves in 3 areas. The first area is on the outer surface of the temporalis muscle lateral to the superior temporal line (STL) where the interfascial or subfascial approaches are applied, the second is in the area medial to the STL where subpericranial dissection is needed, and the third is along the STL. Preserving the nerves crossing the STL requires an understanding of the complex fascial relationships at this line. It is important to preserve the nerves crossing the lateral and medial parts of the exposure, and the continuity of the nerves as they pass across the STL. Prior descriptions have focused largely on the area superficial to the temporalis muscle lateral to the STL.
Using the interfascial-subpericranial flap and the subfascial-subpericranial flap avoids opening the layer of loose areolar tissue between the temporal fascia and galea in the area lateral to the STL and between the galea and frontal pericranium in the area medial to the STL. It also preserves the continuity of the nerve crossing the STL. This technique allows for the preservation of the nerves to the frontalis muscle along their entire trajectory, from the uppermost part of the parotid gland to the frontalis muscle.
Ken Matsushima, Michihiro Kohno, Noritaka Komune, Koichi Miki, Toshio Matsushima and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.
Jugular foramen tumors often extend intra- and extracranially. The gross-total removal of tumors located both intracranially and intraforaminally is technically challenging and often requires a combined skull base approach. This study presents a suprajugular extension of the retrosigmoid approach directed through the osseous roof of the jugular foramen that allows the removal of tumors located in the cerebellopontine angle with extension into the upper part of the foramen, with demonstration of an illustrative case.
The cerebellopontine angles and jugular foramina were examined in dry skulls and cadaveric heads to clarify the microsurgical anatomy around the jugular foramen and to define the steps of the suprajugular exposure.
The area drilled in the suprajugular approach is inferior to the acoustic meatus, medial to the endolymphatic depression and surrounding the superior half of the glossopharyngeal dural fold. Opening this area exposed the upper part of the jugular foramen and extended the exposure along the glossopharyngeal nerve below the roof of the jugular foramen. In the illustrative case, a schwannoma originating from the glossopharyngeal nerve in the cerebellopontine angle and extending below the roof of the jugular foramen and above the jugular bulb was totally removed without any postoperative complications.
The suprajugular extension of the retrosigmoid approach will permit removal of tumors located predominantly in the cerebellopontine angle but also extending into the upper part of the jugular foramen without any additional skull base approaches.
Osamu Akiyama, Ken Matsushima, Maximiliano Nunez, Satoshi Matsuo, Akihide Kondo, Hajime Arai, Albert L. Rhoton Jr. and Toshio Matsushima
The lateral recess is a unique structure communicating between the ventricle and cistern, which is exposed when treating lesions involving the fourth ventricle and the brainstem with surgical approaches such as the transcerebellomedullary fissure approach. In this study, the authors examined the microsurgical anatomy around the lateral recess, including the fiber tracts, and analyzed their findings with respect to surgical exposure of the lateral recess and entry into the lower pons.
Ten cadaveric heads were examined with microsurgical techniques, and 2 heads were examined with fiber dissection to clarify the anatomy between the lateral recess and adjacent structures. The lateral and medial routes directed to the lateral recess in the transcerebellomedullary fissure approach were demonstrated. A morphometric study was conducted in the 10 cadaveric heads (20 sides).
The lateral recess was classified into medullary and cisternal segments. The medial and lateral routes in the transcerebellomedullary fissure approach provided access to approximately 140º–150º of the posteroinferior circumference of the lateral recess. The floccular peduncle ran rostral to the lateral recess, and this region was considered to be a potential safe entry zone to the lower pons. By appropriately selecting either route, medial-to-lateral or lateral-to-medial entry axis is possible, and combining both routes provided wide exposure of the lower pons around the lateral recess.
The medial and lateral routes of the transcerebellomedullary fissure approach provided wide exposure of the lateral recess, and incision around the floccular peduncle is a potential new safe entry zone to the lower pons.
Osamu Akiyama, Ken Matsushima, Abuzer Gungor, Satoshi Matsuo, Dylan J. Goodrich, R. Shane Tubbs, Paul Klimo Jr., Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Hajime Arai and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.
Approaches to the pulvinar remain challenging because of the depth of the target, surrounding critical neural structures, and complicated arterial and venous relationships. The purpose of this study was to compare the surgical approaches to different parts of the pulvinar and to examine the efficacy of the endoscope as an adjunct to the operating microscope in this area.
The pulvinar was examined in 6 formalin-fixed human cadaveric heads through 5 approaches: 4 above and 1 below the tentorium. Each approach was performed using both the surgical microscope and 0° or 45° rigid endoscopes.
The pulvinar has a lateral ventricular and a medial cisternal surface that are separated by the fornix and the choroidal fissure, which wrap around the posterior surface of the pulvinar. The medial cisternal part of the pulvinar can be further divided into upper and lower parts. The superior parietal lobule approach is suitable for lesions in the upper ventricular and cisternal parts. Interhemispheric precuneus and posterior transcallosal approaches are suitable for lesions in the part of the pulvinar forming the anterior wall of the atrium and adjacent cisternal part. The posterior interhemispheric transtentorial approach is suitable for lesions in the lower cisternal part and the supracerebellar infratentorial approach is suitable for lesions in the inferior and medial cisternal parts.
The microscope provided satisfactory views of the ventricular and cisternal surfaces of the pulvinar and adjacent neural and vascular structures. The endoscope provided multi-angled and wider views of the pulvinar and adjacent structures.
A combination of endoscopic and microsurgical techniques allows optimal exposure of the pulvinar.