Endoscopic anatomy of the anterior ethmoidal artery: a cadaveric dissection study.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital, Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Brazilian journal of otorhinolaryngology (Impact Factor: 0.55). 01/2006; 72(3):303-8. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-72992006000300003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The anterior ethmoidal artery (AEA) is an important point of anatomical reference in order to locate the frontal sinus and the skull base. Notwithstanding, despite numerous endoscopic studies in cadavers, we still lack an anatomical study on the AEA in the western population.
to determine reference points used to locate the artery, study its relationship with the skull base and its degree of dehiscence, as well as to study intra and inter individual variations.
we dissected the nasal fossae belonging to 25 cadavers.
the average intranasal length of the anterior ethmoidal artery was 5.2 mm. The anterior ethmoidal canal presented some degree of dehiscence in 66.7%. The average distance between the artery middle point to the anterior nasal spine was of 61.72 mm (sd=4.18 mm); to the lateral nasal wall (nasal axilla) was of 64.04 mm (sd=4.69 mm); and from the anterior axilla to the middle turbinate was of 21.14 mm (sd=3.25 mm). For all the measures there was no statistically significant measures when both sides were compared (p>0.05).
We concluded that the middle conchae axilla is the most reliable point of reference to locate the AEA.

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    ABSTRACT: Endoscopic sinus surgery is a widely used technique in otolaryngologic practice. To avoid complications, the locations of important anatomical structures, such as the anterior ethmoid artery (AEA), should be determined preoperatively. We want to evaluate the effect of ethmoid cavity pneumatization on the location of the AEA and to determine consistent landmark(s) for locating the AEA. 524 consecutive patients undergoing sinus CT scans between February and October 2012 were reviewed retrospectively. After the exclusion criteria were applied, 150 CT scans (300 sides) were selected for the study. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between ethmoid pneumatization and the distance of the AEA to the attachment of the inferior turbinate to the lateral nasal wall (Spearman's rho = 0.305; p < 0.001). Likewise, a statistically significant positive correlation was found between ethmoid pneumatization and the distance between the AEA and the frontonasal junction (Spearman's rho = 0.219; p < 0.001). We found that the artery was located mostly between the second and third lamellae [n 211 (71 %) cases]. There was no statistically significant correlation between ethmoid pneumatization and AEA location in terms of the lamellae. Increased ethmoid volume increases the distance of the AEA from the frontonasal junction and the lateral attachment of the inferior turbinate. However, increased pneumatization of the ethmoid cavity did not affect AEA localization in terms of the lamellae. Based on our findings, we suggest that using the lamellae to locate the AEA is reliable.
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    ABSTRACT: Object There are several surgical techniques for reducing blood loss-open surgical and endoscopic-prior to resection of giant anterior skull base meningiomas, especially when preoperative embolization is risky or not technically feasible. The authors present examples of an institutional experience using surgical ligation of the anterior and posterior ethmoidal arteries producing persistent tumor blush in partially embolized tumors. Methods The authors identified 12 patients who underwent extracranial surgical ligation of ethmoidal arteries through either a transcaruncular or a Lynch approach. Of these, 3 patients had giant olfactory groove or planum sphenoidale meningiomas. After approval from the institution privacy officer, the authors studied the medical records and imaging data of these 3 patients, with special attention to surgical technique and outcome. The variations of ethmoidal artery foramina pertaining to this surgical approach were studied using preserved human skulls from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection at the Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio. Results The extracranial ligation was performed successfully for control of the ethmoidal arteries prior to resection of hypervascular giant anterior skull base meningiomas. The surgical anatomy and landmarks for ethmoidal arteries were reviewed in anthropology specimens and available literature with reference to described surgical techniques. Conclusions Extracranial surgical ligation of anterior, and often posterior, ethmoidal arteries prior to resection of large olfactory groove or planum sphenoidale meningiomas provides a safe and feasible option for control of these vessels prior to either open or endoscopic resection of nonembolized or partially embolized tumors.
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