Quantitative Anatomical Comparison of Anterior, Anterolateral and Lateral, Microsurgical and Endoscopic Approaches to the Middle Cranial Fossa

Giorgio Saraceno, Edoardo Agosti, Jimmy Qiu, Barbara Buffoli, Marco Ferrari, Elena Raffetti, Francesco Belotti, Marco Ravanelli, Davide Mattavelli, Alberto Schreiber, Lena Hirtler, Luigi F. Rodella, Roberto Maroldi, Piero Nicolai, Fred Gentili, Walter Kucharczyk, Marco M. Fontanella, Marco Maria Fontanella, Francesco Doglietto

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Objective: To quantitatively compare different microsurgical and endoscopic approaches to the middle cranial fossa in a preclinical setting with a novel, computer-based research method. Methods: Different approaches were performed bilaterally in 5 head and neck specimens that underwent high-resolution computed tomography scans: 5 transcranial anterolateral (supraorbital, mini-pterional, pterional, pterional-transzygomatic, fronto-temporal-orbito-zygomatic) without and with anterior clinoidectomy; 2 transcranial lateral (subtemporal and subtemporal-transzygomatic); 2 endoscopic transnasal (transpterygoid, transpterygoid to infratemporal fossa); 2 endoscopic transorbital (superior eyelid and inferolateral), and endoscopic transmaxillary. A dedicated navigation system was used to quantify surgical working volumes and exposure of different areas of the middle cranial fossa (ApproachViewer, part of GTx-Eyes II, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada). Statistical analysis was performed using a mixed linear model with bootstrap resampling. Results: Endoscopic transnasal and fronto-temporal-orbito-zygomatic approaches with anterior clinoidectomy showed the largest surgical volumes. Endoscopic approaches allowed a wider exposure of medial anatomical surfaces (e.g., the petrous apex) compared with transcranial ones. Transcranial approaches with larger craniotomies allowed the widest exposure of superomedial anatomical structures (e.g., roof of cavernous sinus). The resection of the zygomatic arch allowed exposure of more medial surfaces with an inferior to superior trajectory. Conclusions: This study implemented a novel neuronavigation-based research method to quantitatively compare different approaches to the middle cranial fossa; its results might guide, after consideration of clinical implications, the choice of the neurosurgical approach to different areas of this complex skull base region.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)682-730
Numero di pagine49
RivistaWorld Neurosurgery
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Endoscopy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Quantification
  • Transcranial
  • Transnasal
  • Transorbital
  • Cadaver
  • Cranial Fossa, Middle
  • Craniotomy
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Microsurgery
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography
  • Nasal Cavity
  • Neuroendoscopy
  • Neuronavigation
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Middle cranial fossa


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