RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Morphometric evaluation of the infralabyrinthine approach to the internal auditory canal.

Morphometric evaluation of the infralabyrinthine approach to the internal auditory canal (IAC) was performed using 20 fresh human temporal bones in order to assess the exposure limitations, inherent risks and technical difficulties that may arise due to common anatomic variations of this region. While performing the infralabyrinthine approach to the IAC, minor problems such as an anteriorly placed sigmoid sinus were easily managed. However, in 50% of the specimens, this approach was limited due to variations of the jugular bulb, restricting access to the IAC. Sacrificing the endolymphatic duct in these specimens did not significantly improve the surgical access to the eighth nerve. Furthermore, it was noted that this approach puts the facial nerve and cochlea under the risk of inadvertent damage during drilling. The authors conclude that vestibular nerve sectioning using the infralabyrinthine approach may be performed only in few selected cases and extreme care is needed in order not to damage the structures that limit this approach.

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