Temporopolar epidural transcavernous transpetrous approach. Technique and indications

Service de neurochirurgie, CHU, hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, APHM, 270, boulevard Sainte-Marguerite, BP 29, 13274 Marseille cedex 09, France.
Neurochirurgie (Impact Factor: 0.41). 03/2007; 53(1):23-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2006.10.002
Source: PubMed


Several selective approaches have been recommended for access to the petroclival region (PCR). However, locoregional extension of the tumor may necessitate more extensive procedures. Dissections from injected specimens allowed us to describe the different osteodural triangles that are exposed to provide an extensive access to the PCR.
The bony step included a temporopterional flap and exposure of the paraclinoid carotid after removal of the anterior clinoid process. The sphenoid wing was then extensively drilled, exposing the foramen rotundum and ovale. An anterior petrosectomy was subsequently performed. The dura propria of the cavernous sinus was elevated as far as the Meckel cave. The sylvian fissure was also opened. Then, the temporobasal dura and the dura from the posterior surface of the petrous bone were opened and the superior petrosal sinus was coagulated and divided. The tentorium was divided toward its free edge.
Via this approach, cranial nerves from the olfactory tract to the acousticofacial bundle are exposed. In the same way, the ventral and lateral surface of the pons is identified.
The epidural temporopolar transcavernous transpetrous approach is useful to expose during the same procedure, elements of the posterior and middle cranial fossa. It is of particular value when managing tumors simultaneously involving the PCR, the parasellar, and the suprasellar regions.

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