BACKGROUND: The microscopic transciliary SupraOrbital keyhole (mtSO) approach has been used for a wide variety of anterior and middle fossa pathologies, including aneurysms, meningiomas, craniopharyngiomas, and other skull-base tumors. Several clinical series have proven its efficacy and safety, but detailed anatomical demarcations of the anterior and middle cranial base exposure are lacking. Our aim was to define the surgical limitations of the mtSO approach to the ipsilateral and contralateral anterior and middle skull base.METHODS: Five cadaveric specimens (10 sides) were studied with image guidance to illustrate the limits of the surgical exposure. In addition, 30 dry skulls were used to measure the working distances between the craniotomy and key bony landmarks of the mtSO approach.RESULTS: Surgical exposure at the anterior skull base covered the area between the medial half of the contra- and the medial two-thirds of the ipsilateral sphenoid wing including both optic nerves and interoptic space. The anterior limit at the midline was the sphenoethmoidal suture. Ipsilateral anterior clinoidectomy permitted exposure of the superior orbital fissure, which defined the anteromedial limit at the middle fossa, whereas the anterolateral limit was defined by the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve. Moreover, the posteromedial and posterolateral limits were the posterior clinoid process and the petrous ridge, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings define the surgical limitations of the mtSO approach for the treatment of anterior and middle cranial base pathologies. These limits can be reliably identified on imaging studies allowing assessment of exposure to guide preoperative case selection.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.09.071
View details for PubMedID 36210606