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BACKGROUND: Understanding the microsurgical anatomical features of the endoscopy-assisted retrosigmoid intradural suprameatal approach (RISA) is critical for surgeons treating petroclival tumors or lesions in the cerebellopontine region that extend into Meckel's cave.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate increased exposure for Meckel's cave in the RISA and assess the surgical landmarks for this approach.METHODS: A standard retrosigmoid craniotomy to the cerebellopontine region was performed in 4 cadaveric specimens (8 hemispheres) with microscope-assisted endoscopy. The length and depth of the drilling region from the suprameatal tubercle to the petrous apex were analyzed. After opening Meckel's cave and mobilizing the trigeminal root completely, the landmarks for this approach were investigated.RESULTS: The endoscopy-assisted RISA facilitates mobilization of the trigeminal root and enhances surgical exposure in the region of Meckel's cave and the petrous apex with increases of 10.1±1.3 mm in depth, 21.4±3.2 mm in length, and 6.4±0.6 mm in height. The posterior and superior semicircular canals, internal auditory canal, superior petrous sinus, and internal carotid artery (petrous segment) served as important landmarks for this approach. One case illustration is presented to describe the application of this approach.CONCLUSION: The RISA is suitable mainly for lesions in the posterior fossa that extend into Meckel's cave. The endoscopy-assisted reach optimizes accessibility to the petrous apex region, obviates the need for extensive drilling, and decreases the risk of internal carotid artery injury. Better realization and recognition of microsurgical landmarks and parameters of this approach are crucial for successful outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ons/opab096
View details for PubMedID 33930162