J Neurosurg 130:238–247, 2019
Anterior clinoidectomy is a difficult yet essential technique in skull base surgery. Two main techniques (extradural and intradural) with multiple modifications have been proposed to increase efficiency and avoid complications.
In this study, the authors sought to develop a hybrid technique based on localization of the optic strut (OS) to combine the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of both techniques. Ten cadaveric specimens were prepared for surgical simulation. After a standard pterional craniotomy, the anterior clinoid process (ACP) was resected in 2 steps. The segment anterior to the OS was resected extradurally, while the segment posterior to the OS was resected intradurally. The proposed technique was performed in 6 clinical cases to evaluate its safety and efficiency.
Anterior clinoidectomy was successfully performed in all cadaveric specimens and all 6 patients by using the proposed technique. The extradural phase enabled early decompression of the optic nerve while avoiding the adjacent internal carotid artery. The OS was drilled intradurally under direct visualization of the adjacent neurovascular structures. The described landmarks were easily identifiable and applicable in the surgically treated patients. No operative complication was encountered.
A proposed 2-step hybrid technique combines the advantages of the extradural and intradural techniques while avoiding their disadvantages. This technique allows reduced intradural drilling and subarachnoid bone dust deposition. Moreover, the most critical part of the clinoidectomy—that is, drilling of the OS and removal of the body of the ACP—is left for the intradural phase, when critical neurovascular structures can be directly viewed.
Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1025–1029
Power drilling commonly used for anterior clinoidectomy and optic canal unroofing can result in thermal injury to the optic nerve.
Methods The authors describe an intradural “limited drill” technique of anterior clinoidectomy and optic canal unroofing for microneurosurgical management of ophthalmic segment aneurysms, where optic canal unroofing is done with 1 mm Kerrison punch and the use of the power drill is restricted to anterior clinoidectomy to avoid thermal injury to the optic nerve. The optic nerve, internal carotid artery (ICA), and aneurysm are covered with wet gelfoam pieces to prevent any inadvertent contact with the drill.
Conclusion “Limited drill technique” is a safe and effective technique of anterior clinoidectomy and optic canal unroofing. Key points • Anterior clinoidectomy and optic canal unroofing is an important skull base technique required for safe clipping of the majority of ophthalmic segment aneurysms • Power drilling commonly used for optic canal unroofing can cause thermal injury to optic nerve • More than 2 mm free space is available around the optic nerve in the optic canal • Foot plate of 1 mm Kerrison punch can be safely introduced within a normal optic canal without causing mechanical injury to the optic nerve • Reflection of posteriorly based dural flap acts as a dural barrier, preventing direct contact of drill bit to optic nerve, internal carotid artery and aneurysm during drilling • Entanglement of cottonoids to rotating drill bit is a major problem in intradural anterior clinoidectomy • Wet gelfoam pieces do not get entangled to the rotating drill bit • Structures surrounding the area of drilling can be covered with wet gel foam pieces to prevent direct contact of the drill to neurovascular structures • Opened cisterns can be covered with wet gelfoam pieces during drilling to prevent deposition of bone dust in the subarachnoid space • “Limited drill technique” of anterior clinoidectomy and optic canal unroofing is a safe and effective technique for the exposure of ophthalmic segment aneurysms.