The endoscopic endonasal trans-sphenoidal approach to the sellar and suprasellar area. Anatomic study

S Aydin, L M Cavallo, A Messina, M Dal Fabbro, P Cappabianca, O Barlas, E De Divitiis
Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2007, 51 (3): 129-38

AIM: The microscopic trans-sphenoidal approach has been the treatment of choice of different sellar lesions over the last thirty years. However, due to several advantages brought by the endoscope, which provides a panoramic and close up view of all the anatomic landmarks either in the sphenoid sinus and in the sellar region, an increasing interest for the trans-sphenoidal approach to the sellar and suprasellar region is being noticed in the recent past years. Since the endoscopic approach drives the surgeon through a corridor whose walls were previously hidden by the nasal speculum, the precise knowledge of the endoscopic anatomy and the anatomical landmarks of the surgical approach are essential to better explore the mentioned advantages.

METHODS: The endoscopic endonasal approach to the sellar region was performed in 40 adult fresh cadavers, with the aim of describing the anatomical landmarks for a safe realization of the surgical approach.

RESULTS: The anatomic features and the variations of the sphenoid ostia, sphenoid sinus and septae, sella turcica, optic and carotid protuberances and their relationships have been described, as well as supra and parasellar neurovascular structures.

CONCLUSION: The endoscopic endonasal trans-sphenoidal approach provides a straight approach to the sellar region, where it offers a multiangled and close-up view of all the relevant neurovascular structures.

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