In this study, the authors used a fiber-dissection technique to describe the optic radiation. They focused on the morphological characteristics (length and breadth) of this structure, its course, and its relationships with neighboring fasciculi and the lateral ventricle.
The authors dissected 10 previously frozen, formalin-fixed human brains with the aid of an operating microscope by following the fiber dissection technique described by Klingler in 1960. Lateral, inferior, and medial approaches were made. The optic radiation, also known as the Gratiolet radiation, extended from the lateral geniculate body to the calcarine fissure. The average distance from the tip of the anterior Meyer loop to the calcarine sulcus was 105 mm (range 95–114 mm). The breadth of the optic radiations, one on each side of the brain, averaged 17 mm at the level of the inferior horn (range 15–18 mm). This tract could be divided into three main segments: the anterior or Meyer loop, the body, and the end of the optic radiation. Adjacent anatomical structures included: laterally, the inferior longitudinal fasciculi; medially, the tapetum of the corpus callosum; and the ependyma of the inferior horn of the lateral ventricle.
Various practical surgical approaches are discussed. The knowledge gained by studying this particular anatomy will help prevent injury to the optic radiations during neurosurgery.