Comparative Analysis of Surgical Working Corridors for Meckel Cave Trigeminal Schwannomas: A Quantitative Anatomic Study

Operative Neurosurgery 25:E251–E266, 2023

Volumetric analysis of the working corridors of the interdural approach to the Meckel cave may lead to a selection of routes which are anatomically more advantageous for trigeminal schwannoma resection. The herein-reported anatomic study quantitively compares the infratrochlear (IT) transcavernous, anteromedial (AM), and anterolateral (AL) corridors, highlighting their feasibility, indications, advantages, and limitations.

METHODS: Anatomic boundaries and depth of Meckel cave, porus trigeminus, IT transcavernous, AM, and AL corridors were identified in 20 formalin-fixed latex-injected cadaveric heads and were subsequently measured. The corridor areas and volumes were derived accordingly. Each opening angle was also calculated. Angles and volumes were compared using analysis of variance. Statistical significance was set at a P-value <.05.

RESULTS: The IT transcavernous corridor volume was greater than that of the AM and AL. The opening angle of the AM middle fossa triangle was wider than the other 2.

CONCLUSION: The IT corridor can be advantageous for Meckel cave schwannomas invading the cavernous sinus and those with a notable extension into the posterior fossa because the transcavernous approach maximizes the working space into the retrosellar area. The AM middle fossa corridor is strategic in schwannomas confined to the Meckel cave with a minor extension into the posterior fossa. It raises the chance of total resection with a single approach involving the porus trigeminus opening.