Simplified anterior transpetrosal approach without superior petrosal sinus and tentorial incision for lesions centered in Meckel’s cave

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:1833–1839

The anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) is an effective method to reach lesions in the petroclival region. This approach involves many steps, including superior petrosal sinus (SPS) ligation and tentorial cutting. It is sometimes unnecessary to perform all procedures in the ATPA for certain lesions, especially those centered in the Meckel’s cave. Here, we present a simplified anterior transpetrosal approach (SATPA) without superior petrosal sinus and tentorial incision for lesions centered in the Meckel’s cave as a modified ATPA.

Methods This study included 13 patients treated with SATPA. The initial steps of SATPA are similar to ATPA, excluding a middle cranial fossa dural incision, SPS dissection, or tentorial incision. Histological examination was performed to understand the membrane structure of the trigeminal nerve, which runs through the Meckel’s cave.

Results Pathology revealed trigeminal schwannoma (n=11), extraventricular central neurocytoma (n=1), and a metastatic tumor (n=1). The average tumor size was 2.4 cm. The total removal rate was 76.9% (10/13). Permanent complications included trigeminal neuropathy in four cases and cerebrospinal fluid leakage in one case. Histological examination revealed the trigeminal nerve traverses the subarachnoid space from the posterior fossa subdural space to the Meckel’s cave and is covered with the epineurium in the inner reticular layer.

Conclusions We used SATPA for lesions located in the Meckel’s cave identified using histological examination. This approach may be considered for small- to medium-sized lesions centered in the Meckel space.

Surgical outcomes of anterior cerebellopontine angle meningiomas using the anterior transpetrosal approach compared with the lateral suboccipital approach

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:1243–1248

Anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) and lateral suboccipital approach (LSO) are the major surgical approaches for cerebellopontine angle (CPA) meningiomas. Particularly, anterior CPA meningiomas are challenging lesions to be treated surgically. To date, only a few studies have directly compared the outcomes of both approaches focusing on the anterior CPA meningiomas.

Methods For the comparative analysis, anterior CPA meningiomas that were eligible for both APTA and LSO were collected in our hospital from April 2005 to March 2017. Anterior CPA meningiomas targeted for this study were defined as follows: (1) without cavernous sinus, clivus, and middle cranial fossa extension, (2) the posterior edge is 1 cm behind the posterior wall of the internal auditory canal, and (3) the inferior edge is above the jugular tuberculum. Based on these criteria, the operative outcomes of 17 patients and 13 patients who were operated via ATPA and LSO were evaluated.

Results The complication rate of the LSO group was significantly higher than that of the ATPA group (30.7% vs. 0%, p = 0.033). The removal rate did not differ between the ATPA and LSO groups (97.35% vs. 99.23%, p = 0.12). The operative time was significantly shorter in the LSO group than in the ATPA group (304.3 min vs. 405.8 min, p = 0.036).

Conclusions Although the LSO is more widely used for CPA meningiomas, ATPA is also considered for these anterior CPA meningiomas.

Venous preservation in the anterior transpetrosal approach

Venous preservation in the anterior transpetrosal approach

J Neurosurg 124:432–439, 2016

The drainage of the superficial middle cerebral vein (SMCV) has previously been classified into 4 subtypes. Extradural procedures and dural incisions during the anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA) may interrupt the route of drainage from the SMCV. In this study, the authors examined the relationship between anatomical variations in the SMCV and the corresponding surgical modifications to the ATPA that are necessary for venous preservation.

Methods This study included 48 patients treated via the ATPA in whom the SMCV was examined using 3D CT venography. The drainage patterns of the SMCV were classified into 3 types: cavernous or absent (Type 1), sphenobasal (Type 2), and sphenopetrosal (Type 3). Type 2 was subdivided into medial (Type 2a) and lateral (Type 2b), and Type 3 was subdivided into vein (Type 3a), vein and sinus (Type 3b), and sinus (Type 3c). The authors performed 3 ATPA modifications to preserve the SMCV: epidural anterior petrosectomy with subdural visualization of the sphenobasal vein (SBV), modification of the dural incision, and subdural anterior petrosectomy. Standard ATPA can be performed with Type 1, Type 2a, and Type 3a drainage. With Type 2b drainage, an epidural anterior petrosectomy with subdural SBV visualization is appropriate. The dural incision should be modified in Type 3b. With Type 3c, a subdural anterior petrosectomy is required.

Results The frequency of each type was 68.7% (33/48) in Type 1, 8.3% (4/48) in Type 2a, 4.2% (2/48) in Type 2b, 14.6% (7/48) in Type 3a, 2.1% (1/48) in Type 3b, and 2.1% (1/48) in Type 3c. No venous complications were found.

Conclusions The authors propose an SMCV modified classification based on ATPA modifications required for venous preservation.

The Middle Fossa Approach and Extended Middle Fossa Approach: Technique and Operative Nuances

Neurosurgery 70[ONS Suppl 2]:ons192–ons201, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31823583a1

The middle fossa approach and extended middle fossa approach, also known as the anterior transpetrosal approach, are cranial base techniques for addressing small vestibular schwannomas, medial temporal bone lesions, midbasilar trunk aneurysms, and selected petroclival lesions.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an outline of a number of technical nuances that are important to correct application of these approaches, maximizing exposure, and limiting potential morbidity.

METHODS: Via a temporal craniotomy, the petrous apex is removed in variable degrees, depending on the exposure requirements of the lesion. The technique is described in detail with appropriate nuances of the technique provided.

RESULTS: The described nuances of technique in the performance of the approaches have resulted in successful application of these techniques in a significant number of cases.

CONCLUSION: Significant familiarity and practice with these surgical approach techniques are critical to applying them safely to clinical problems. A number of technical details can assist the surgeon in achieving optimal exposure and limited morbidity.


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