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A Frontal Route to Middle and Posterior Cranial Fossa: Quantitative Study for the Lateral Transorbital Endoscopic Approach and Comparison with the Subtemporal Approach.

Publication Date Aug 6, 2022

Abstract

Skull base lesions within the middle cranial fossa (MCF) remain challenging. Recent reports suggest that transorbital endoscopic approaches (TOEAs) might be particularly suitable to access the MCF and expose the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus and the Meckel's cave. The present study was developed to compare the nuances of the subtemporal approach (STA) with those of the lateral TOEA (LTOEA) to the MCF and posterior cranial fossa (PCF) in cadaveric specimens. After orbital craniectomy, interdural opening of the cavernous sinus lateral wall (CSlw), exposure of the Gasserian ganglion, and extradural elevation of the temporal lobe was performed. Next, anterior endoscopic petrosectomy was performed and the PCF was accessed. We quantitatively analyzed and compared the angles of attack and distances between LTOEA and STA to different structures at the CSlw, petrous apex (PA), and PCF. Cadaveric dissection through the LTOEA completely exposed the CSlw and PA. LTOA exhibited larger distances than the STA to all targets. Importantly, these differences were greater at the PA and its surrounding key anatomic landmarks. The horizontal and vertical angles of attack allowed by the LTOA were smaller both for the CSlw and PA. However, these differences were not significant for the vertical angle of attack at the CSlw. LTOEA provides a direct ventral route to the medial aspect of MCF, PA, and PCF. Although TOEAs are versatile approaches, the unfamiliar surgical anatomy and limited instrument maneuverability demand extensive cadaveric dis...

Concepts

Middle Cranial Fossa Posterior Cranial Fossa Petrous Apex Transorbital Endoscopic Approaches Skull Base Lesions Meckel's Cave Subtemporal Approach Lateral Wall Of Sinus Angles Of Attack Cadaveric Dissection

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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