Cavernous angiomas of the brain stem intra-axial anatomical pitfalls and surgical strategies

Giampaolo Cantore, Paolo Missori, Antonio Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: We review the surgical anatomy of the brain stem in relation to the surgical approaches adopted for treatment of cavernomas and identify possible 'safe entry zones' on the anterior face of the brainstem. METHODS: Twelve symptomatic patients with cavernoma or telangectasia of the brain stem were surgically treated. The brain stem was divided into the following anatomical areas: ventral medulla, dorsal medulla, dorsal pons, ventral pons, ventral mesencephalon, and dorsal mesencephalon, so that the surgical approach could be 'individualized' according to the position of the cavernoma, the nerve fasciculi and nuclei. RESULTS: On the anterior surface of the brain stem a medullar paramedian oblique access to the anterolateral sulcus and a paramedian sagittal pons access seem to avoid the main nerve fasciculi and nuclei. CONCLUSIONS: Although the parenchymal window produced by the cavernoma is the most important parameter for the choice of approach, fairly safe entry zones may be identified even on the anterior surface of the medulla and pons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999


  • Brain stem
  • Capillary telangectasia
  • Cavernoma
  • Cavernous angioma
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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