Frontotemporal orbitozygomatic craniotomy to expose the cavernous sinus and its surrounding regions: Microsurgical anatomy

F. Z. Jian, A. Santoro, G. Innocenzi, X. W. Wang, S. S. Liu, G. Cantore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The microsurgical anatomy of the cavernous sinus and its surrounding regions were examined via frontotemporal orbitozygomatic (FTOZ) craniotomy. Combined with other deep osteotomies, the possibility of exposing the petroclival region and basilar artery was also explored. Methods. The study was made on 20 sides of 10 cadaveric specimens fixed with formalin, with the help of the surgical microscope (magnification 5-15). Results. The FTOZ was performed with frontotemporal and orbitozygomatic flaps. Extradurally, V2, V3, the trigeminal ganglion, the posterior vertical segment of the intracavernous ICA and the VI nerve were exposed by FTOZ craniotomy. By further removal of the petrous apex (Kawase's triangle), exposure could be extended to the petroclival region; with anterior modification of the microscopic light, in 50% of the specimens, exposure reached as low as the convergence of the vertebral arteries. The anterior part of the cavernous sinus and the orbital apex were examined by removing the anterior clinoid process, orbital roof and unroofing the optic canal. Intradurally, the intrapeduncular fossa (upper 1/3 of the clivus) was examined. The intracavernous cranial nerves and vessels were studied via lateral and superior wall approaches. By removing both the anterior and posterior clinoid processes together, in 80% of the specimens, the exposure could be carried as far as the midpoint of the basilar artery. Conclusions. FTOZ craniotomy could be used to treat lesions involving the cavernous sinus and its surrounding regions. Incorporated with the petrous apectomy, it could be used to expose the petroclival region and, in selected cases, exposure could be extended to the convergence of the vertebral arteries. Combined with anterior and posterior clinoidectomies, it could also be used to treat midpoint regions of the basilar artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Sciences
Volume45
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Basilar artery
  • Cavernous sinus
  • Frontotemporal orbitozygomatic craniotomy
  • Intrapeduncular fossa
  • Orbital apex
  • Petroclival region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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