The orbitopterygoid corridor as a deep keyhole for endoscopic access to the paranasal sinuses and clivus

J Neurosurg 134:1480–1489, 2021

The anteromedial triangle (AMT) is the triangle formed by the ophthalmic (V1) and maxillary (V2) nerves. Opening of this bony space offers a limited access to the sphenoid sinus (SphS). This study aims to demonstrate the utility of the orbitopterygopalatine corridor (OPC), obtained by enlarging the AMT and transposing the contents of the pterygopalatine fossa (PPF) and V2, as an entrance to the SphS, maxillary sinus (MaxS), and nasal cavity.

METHODS Five formalin-injected cadaveric specimens were used for this study (10 approaches). A classic pterional approach was performed. An OPC was created through the inferior orbital fissure, between the orbit and the PPF, by transposing the PPF inferiorly. The extent of the OPC was measured using neuronavigation and manual measurements. Two illustrative cases using the OPC to access skull base tumors are presented in the body of the article.

RESULTS Via the OPC, the SphS, MaxS, ethmoid sinus (EthS), and nasal cavity could be accessed. The use of endoscopic assistance through the OPC achieved better visualization of the EthS, SphS, MaxS, clivus, and nasal cavity. A significant gain in the area of exposure could be achieved using the OPC compared to the AMT (22.4 mm2 vs 504.1 mm2).

CONCLUSIONS Opening of the AMT and transposition of V2 and the contents of the PPF creates the OPC, a potentially useful deep keyhole to access the paranasal sinuses and clival region through a middle fossa approach. It is a valuable alternative approach to reach deep-seated skull base lesions infiltrating the cavernous sinus and middle cranial fossa and extending into the paranasal sinus.

%d bloggers like this: