Neurovascular structures at risk during surgical access to trigeminal ganglion and meckel's cave – An anatomical study


1 Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

2 Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India


Background: It is difficult to approach the Trigeminal Ganglion (TG) and Meckel's cave (MC) during surgeries. Therefore, the exact knowledge of the relationship of surgical landmarks to related anatomical structures is vital to reduce the associated postoperative morbidity. The aim of the present study was to enhance the knowledge of the surgical anatomy of structures that are present in the conduit of all surgical approaches to TG and MC, their distances from surrounding neurovascular structures, and their variations.
Material and Methods: The study was carried out on 40 embalmed cadavers (Eight Female) of the anatomy department of a teaching hospital in Central India. Meticulous dissection of cranial fossae was done to locate TG, MC, and related anatomical structures. All distances from TG and MC were measured using an electronic digital calliper.
Results: Length, width, and thickness of TG were 15.39 mm, 4.39 mm, and 2.54 mm, respectively. The distance from zygomatic arch, the lateral end of the petrous ridge, arcuate eminence, foramen ovale, and foramen spinosum to MC was 26.10 mm and 37.94 mm, 16.46 mm, 4.54 mm, and 11.23 mm, respectively. The sixth, fourth, and third cranial nerves were 6.26 mm, 4.94 mm, and 2.53 mm from MC, respectively. The MC was 42.72 mm and 33.87 mm anteromedial from posterior and anterior limits of the sigmoid sinus.
Conclusion: Findings of the present study will aid surgical planning and decide the approach to TG and MC and avoid surgical complications.


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