OBJECTIVE: The clinoidal venous space dorsal to the internal carotid artery (ICA) has not been well studied given its inaccessibility due to obstruction by the ICA during transcranial surgery. The evolution of endoscopic endonasal surgery has provided a new perspective into the clinoidal space and a new route for paraclinoidal lesions. Understanding the dorsal clinoidal space (DCS) is vital in planning and performing endoscopic endonasal surgery in the parasellar region. A detailed and precise description of the DCS from the endonasal perspective has not yet been provided. The authors' goal in this study was to delineate the microsurgical anatomy of the DCS from an endoscopic endonasal perspective, emphasizing its surgical implications when treating invasive pituitary adenomas and other parasellar lesions.METHODS: An endoscopic endonasal transsellar approach was performed in 15 silicone-injected postmortem heads. Afterward, the sellar region was dissected through a transcranial approach using magnification *3 to *40 microscopy. The osseous, dural, and arterial relationships of the DCS and its architecture were investigated. The DCS's length, width, and depth were measured and its anatomical variations recorded.RESULTS: The DCS was identified in 90% of the specimens, and in most cases, its shape was a narrow rectangular pyramid, with its base oriented toward the sphenoid sinus and its apex toward the posterior clinoid process. It is delimited superiorly by the distal ring, inferiorly by the medial aspect of the proximal dural ring or caroticoclinoid ligament, laterally by the clinoidal ICA, and medially by the superior continuation of the medial wall of the cavernous sinus. The width, height, and length of the DCS were 4 ± 1, 4.5 ± 1.5, and 7 ± 2 mm, respectively. A fenestrated caroticoclinoid ligament is a potential route for tumor invasion from the cavernous sinus into the DCS.CONCLUSIONS: This report provides important anatomical descriptions of the DCS from endoscopic endonasal and transcranial perspectives that may facilitate the space's safe exposure for the removal of invasive adenomas, increasing total resection rates and minimizing the risk of injury to neurovascular structures.
View details for DOI 10.3171/2021.12.JNS211974
View details for PubMedID 35120312