Paraclinoid and cavernous sinus regions: Measurement of critical structures relevant for surgical procedure

Frederic Collignon, Michael Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determination of the safest distance the falciform ligament can be incised from its origin to the orbital apex. Measurement of the distance between the oculomotor foramen and the IV nerve in the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus. Evaluation of the optic strut as an accurate landmark between the intradural (subarachnoid) and extradural segment of the internal carotid artery (ICA). Ten fixed human cadaver heads were examined for a total of 20 sides. A frontotemporal craniotomy, an orbito-optic osteotomy, and extradural anterior clinoidectomy were carried out followed by opening the falciform ligament, circumferentially releasing the distal dural ring and dissection of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus under the operating microscope. We measured: 1) the distance between the entry of the III nerve and the point where the IV nerve crosses over it into the cavernous sinus; 2) the distance the falciform ligament can be incised along the optic nerve laterally until the IV nerve is encountered at the orbital apex; 3) the distance between the optic strut and the lateral part of the distal dural ring; and 4) the distance between the optic strut and the ophthalmic artery. All measurements were made in millimeters, using small calipers. The distance between the optic strut and the lateral part of the distal dural ring ranges from 3-7.5 mm (mean = 5.47 mm). In all our specimens, the ophthalmic artery was found distally from the optic strut in the intradural space at a distance ranging from 0.5-7 mm (mean = 3.35 mm). The distance between the entry of the third nerve and the IV nerve into the cavernous sinus ranged from 7-15 mm (mean = 10.9 mm). The distance between the origin of the falciform ligament and the IV nerve at the level of the orbital apex ranged from 9-15 mm (mean = 10.75 mm). The falciform ligament and the optic sheath should not be opened longer than 9 mm along the lateral optic nerve or injury to the IV nerve can occur. Starting at the oculomotor foramen, the opening of the cavernous sinus should be limited to 7 mm to avoid injuring the IV nerve. Finally, the optic strut can be a reliable bony landmark that separates the subarachnoid space and extradural compartments along the anterior and medial ICA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 7 2005

Keywords

  • Carotid artery
  • Cavernous sinus
  • Distal dural ring
  • Falciform ligament
  • Measurement
  • Optic strut
  • Paraclinoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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