Endoscopic Endonasal Approach to the Ventral Jugular Foramen: Anatomical Basis, Technical Considerations, and Clinical Series OPERATIVE NEUROSURGERY Vaz-Guimaraes, F., Nakassa, A. I., Gardner, P. A., Wang, E. W., Snyderman, C. H., Fernandez-Miranda, J. C. 2017; 13 (4): 482–90


Surgical exposure of the jugular foramen (JF) is challenging given its complex regional anatomy and proximity to critical neurovascular structures.To describe the anatomical basis, surgical technique, and outcomes of a group of patients who underwent the endoscopic endonasal approach to the JF.Five silicon-injected anatomical specimens were prepared for dissection. Additionally, a chart review was conducted through our patient database, searching for endonasal exposure of the JF. Demographic data, clinical presentation, pathological findings, extent of resection in the JF, and occurrence of complications were analyzed.The endonasal exposure of the JF requires 3 sequential steps: a transpterygoid, a "far-medial," and an "extreme-medial" approach. Mobilization or transection of the cartilaginous portion of the eustachian tube (ET) is necessary. In the clinical series, cranial neuropathies were the presenting symptoms in 16 patients (89%). Eighteen tumors (10 chondrosarcomas, 7 chordomas, 1 adenocarcinoma) extended secondarily into the JF. Total tumor resection was achieved in 10 patients (56%), near total (=90%) in 6 (33%), and subtotal (<90%) in 2 (11%). ET dysfunction (75% of cases), transient palatal numbness (17%), cerebrospinal fluid leakage (17%), and lower cranial nerve palsy (17%) were the most common postoperative complications. There were no carotid artery or jugular vein injuries.The endoscopic endonasal approach to the JF requires mobilization or transection of the cartilaginous portion of the ET. This maneuver provides a safe infrapetrosal surgical route to the JF. It may be considered a valid option, in well-selected cases, for resection of malignant and recurrent cranial base tumors.

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