Endoscopic anatomy of the skull base explored through the nose

Domenico Solari, Carmela Chiaramonte, Alberto Di Somma, Giovanni Dell'Aversana Orabona, Matteo de Notaris, Filippo Flavio Angileri, Luigi Maria Cavallo, Stefania Montagnani, Manfred Tschabitscher, Paolo Cappabianca
World Neurosurgery 2014, 82 (6 Suppl): S164-70

OBJECTIVE: Different surgical approaches have been used over the years in order to access skull base. The endoscopic endonasal approach represents a direct and minimally invasive approach to the suprasellar, retrosellar, and retroclival space, with the advantage of avoid brain retraction and visualize safely and effectively the surgical target. The present contribution aims to provide anatomical details of the skull base as seen from below (i.e., via an endoscopic endonasal approach).

METHODS: Five human cadaver heads were dissected. The anatomical neurovascular structures within the skull base were visualized and carefully described from an endoscopic endonasal view. The advantages and limitations of the endoscopic endonasal route were discussed as well.

RESULTS: The entire skull base region, as seen from the endoscopic endonasal viewpoint, has been divided in 4 main regions: anterior skull base, middle skull base, posterior skull base and parasellar area.

CONCLUSION: The development of endoscopic techniques has opened different perspectives over the skull base surgery. Endonasal surgery provides access to a wide range of skull base lesions via a natural surgical corridor (i.e., the nasal cavities).

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