Telovelar approach to the fourth ventricle: microsurgical anatomy

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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Object. In the past, access to the fourth ventricle was obtained by splitting the vermis or removing part of the cerebellum. The purpose of this study was to examine the access to the fourth ventricle achieved by opening the tela choroidea and inferior medullary velum, the two thin sheets of tissue that form the lower half of the roof of the fourth ventricle, without incising or removing part of the cerebellum.

Methods. Fifty formalin-fixed specimens, in which the arteries were perfused with red silicone and the veins with blue silicone, provided the material for this study. The dissections were performed in a stepwise manner to simulate the exposure that can be obtained by retracting the cerebellar tonsils and opening the tela choroidea and inferior medullary velum.

Conclusions. Gently displacing the tonsils laterally exposes both the tela choroidea and the inferior medullary velum. Opening the tela provides access to the floor and body of the ventricle from the aqueduct to the obex. The additional opening of the velum provides access to the superior half of the roof of the ventricle, the fastigium, and the superolateral recess. Elevating the tonsillar surface away from the posterolateral medulla exposes the tela, which covers the lateral recess, and opening this tela exposes the structure forming the walls of the lateral recess.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., M.D., Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Florida Brain Institute, P.O. Box 100265, 100 South Newell Drive, Building 59, L2–100, Gainesville, Florida 32610–0265. email: rhoton@neurosurgery.ufl.edu.
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