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Guilherme Carvalhal Ribas, Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, and Consuelo Junqueira Rodrigues

Object

The sylvian fissure or lateral sulcus is the most identifiable feature of the superolateral brain surface and constitutes the main microneurosurgical corridor, given the high frequency of approachable intracranial lesions through this route. The anterior sylvian point (ASyP) divides this fissure in its main anterior and posterior rami and was evaluated in this study for its morphology, exact location, and sulcal and neural relationships to assess its suitability as an initial, visually identifiable landmark for further neuroimaging and intraoperative estimation of its adjoining suprasylvian structures.

Methods

This study is based on 32 formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres. The brains were removed from the skulls of 16 cadavers after the introduction of plastic catheters through properly positioned burr holes; the number of specimens for some of the analyzed data differed because of incorrect positioning of catheters or damage to the studied structures caused by the initial steps of the study.

The ASyP had a cisternal aspect in 94% of the specimens and was always located inferior to the triangular part of the inferior frontal gyrus, 2.3 ± 0.5 cm in front of the inferior rolandic point. The ASyP was located underneath the 1.5-cm-diameter cranial area of the anterior aspect of the squamous suture. Its adjoining structures that compose the suprasylvian operculum have constant basic morphological configurations.

Conclusions

The ASyP underlies the anterior aspect of squamous suture just behind the pterion, can be easily recognized, and constitutes a reliable initial sulcal landmark for further estimation of the suprasylvian sulcal and gyral structures. The suprasylvian operculum can be understood as a series of convolutions roughly arranged as a V-shaped convolution, with its vertex constituted by the ASyP, followed by three U-shaped convolutions and one C-shaped convolution.

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Eduardo Santamaria Carvalhal Ribas and Hugues Duffau

Five percent of the general population has olfactory or gustatory disorders, although most do not complain about it. However, in some cases, these symptoms can be disabling and may affect quality of life. Anosmia was reported as a possible complication following head injury and neurosurgical procedures, particularly after the resection of tumors located in the anterior fossa and the treatment of aneurysms in the anterior circulation. Nonetheless, in all of these situations, olfactory dysfunction could be explained by damage to the peripheral olfactory system.

Here, the authors report a case of complete anosmia associated with ageusia following awake resection of a low-grade glioma involving the left temporoinsular region, with no recovery during a follow-up of 3 years. The frontal lobe was not retracted, and the olfactory tract was not visualized during surgery; therefore, postoperative anosmia and ageusia are likely explained by damage to the cortex and central pathways responsible for these senses. The authors suggest that the patient might have had a subclinical right hemianosmia before surgery, which is a common condition. After resection of the central structures critical for smell and taste processing in the left hemisphere, the patient could have finally had bilateral and complete olfactory and gustatory loss.

This is the first known report of permanent anosmia and ageusia following glioma surgery. Because these symptoms might have been underestimated, more attention should be devoted to olfaction and taste, especially with regard to possible subclinical preoperative deficit.

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Carolina Martins, Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Albert L. Rhoton Jr., and Guilherme Carvalhal Ribas

Three-dimensional images have become an important tool in teaching surgical anatomy, and its didactic power is enhanced when combined with 3D surgical images and videos. This paper describes the method used by the last author (G.C.R.) since 2002 to project 3D anatomical and surgical images using a computer source. Projecting 3D images requires the superposition of 2 similar but slightly different images of the same object. The set of images, one mimicking the view of the left eye and the other mimicking the view of the right eye, constitute the stereoscopic pair and can be processed using anaglyphic or horizontal-vertical polarization of light for individual use or presentation to larger audiences. Classically, 3D projection could be obtained by using a double set of slides, projected through 2 slide projectors, each of them equipped with complementary filters, shooting over a medium that keeps light polarized (a silver screen) and having the audience wear appropriate glasses. More recently, a digital method of 3D projection has been perfected. In this method, a personal computer is used as the source of the images, which are arranged in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. A beam splitter device is used to connect the computer source to 2 digital, portable projectors. Filters, a silver screen, and glasses are used, similar to the classic method. Among other advantages, this method brings flexibility to 3D presentations by allowing the combination of 3D anatomical and surgical still images and videos. It eliminates the need for using film and film developing, lowering the costs of the process. In using small, powerful digital projectors, this method substitutes for the previous technology, without incurring a loss of quality, and enhances portability.

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Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Kaan Yağmurlu, Evandro de Oliveira, Guilherme Carvalhal Ribas, and Albert Rhoton Jr.

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to describe in detail the cortical and subcortical anatomy of the central core of the brain, defining its limits, with particular attention to the topography and relationships of the thalamus, basal ganglia, and related white matter pathways and vessels.

METHODS

The authors studied 19 cerebral hemispheres. The vascular systems of all of the specimens were injected with colored silicone, and the specimens were then frozen for at least 1 month to facilitate identification of individual fiber tracts. The dissections were performed in a stepwise manner, locating each gray matter nucleus and white matter pathway at different depths inside the central core. The course of fiber pathways was also noted in relation to the insular limiting sulci.

RESULTS

The insular surface is the most superficial aspect of the central core and is divided by a central sulcus into an anterior portion, usually containing 3 short gyri, and a posterior portion, with 2 long gyri. It is bounded by the anterior limiting sulcus, the superior limiting sulcus, and the inferior limiting sulcus. The extreme capsule is directly underneath the insular surface and is composed of short association fibers that extend toward all the opercula. The claustrum lies deep to the extreme capsule, and the external capsule is found medial to it. Three fiber pathways contribute to form both the extreme and external capsules, and they lie in a sequential anteroposterior disposition: the uncinate fascicle, the inferior fronto-occipital fascicle, and claustrocortical fibers. The putamen and the globus pallidus are between the external capsule, laterally, and the internal capsule, medially. The internal capsule is present medial to almost all insular limiting sulci and most of the insular surface, but not to their most anteroinferior portions. This anteroinferior portion of the central core has a more complex anatomy and is distinguished in this paper as the “anterior perforated substance region.” The caudate nucleus and thalamus lie medial to the internal capsule, as the most medial structures of the central core. While the anterior half of the central core is related to the head of the caudate nucleus, the posterior half is related to the thalamus, and hence to each associated portion of the internal capsule between these structures and the insular surface. The central core stands on top of the brainstem. The brainstem and central core are connected by several white matter pathways and are not separated from each other by any natural division. The authors propose a subdivision of the central core into quadrants and describe each in detail. The functional importance of each structure is highlighted, and surgical approaches are suggested for each quadrant of the central core.

CONCLUSIONS

As a general rule, the internal capsule and its vascularization should be seen as a parasagittal barrier with great functional importance. This is of particular importance in choosing surgical approaches within this region.

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Eduardo Carvalhal Ribas, Kaan Yagmurlu, Hung Tzu Wen, and Albert L. Rhoton Jr.

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to describe the location of each white matter pathway in the area between the inferior limiting insular sulcus (ILS) and temporal horn that may be crossed in approaches through the temporal stem to the medial temporal lobe.

METHODS

The fiber tracts in 14 adult cadaveric cerebral hemispheres were examined using the Klingler technique. The fiber dissections were completed in a stepwise manner, identifying each white matter pathway in different planes and describing its position in relation to the anterior end of the ILS.

RESULTS

The short-association fibers from the extreme capsule, which continue toward the operculae, are the most superficial subcortical layer deep to the ILS. The external capsule fibers are found deeper at an intermediate layer and are formed by the uncinate fasciculus, inferior frontooccipital fasciculus, and claustrocortical fibers in a sequential anteroposterior disposition. The anterior commissure forms the next deeper layer, and the optic radiations in the sublenticular part of the internal capsule represent the deepest layer. The uncinate fasciculus is found deep to the anterior third of the ILS, whereas the inferior frontooccipital fasciculus and optic radiations are found superficial and deep, respectively, at the posterior two-thirds of this length.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' findings suggest that in the transsylvian approach, a 6-mm incision beginning just posterior to the limen insula through the ILS will cross the uncinate fasciculus but not the inferior frontooccipital fasciculus or optic radiations, but that longer incisions carry a risk to language and visual functions.

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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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Jorge Eduardo Duque Parra, John Barco Ríos, and Jhonny Fernando García Aguirre