Temporomandibular joint-preserving preauricular subtemporal-infratemporal fossa approach: Surgical technique and clinical application

Marcelo D. Vilela, Robert C. Rostomily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The preauricular subtemporal-infratemporal (PSI) approach is commonly used to resect clival tumors and other lesions anterior to the brainstem. One of the surgical steps in this approach is a condylar osteotomy or a condylectomy, which often leads to temporomandibular joint dysfunction. We describe a modification of the PSI approach that preserves the temporomandibular joint without sacrificing the ability to mobilize the petrous internal carotid artery or gain surgical access to the clivus and anterior brainstem. METHODS: Anatomic studies in cadaveric specimens were performed, and the extent of exposure of critical skull base and intradural structures was documented with postdissection fine-cut computed tomographic scans. This modification of the PSI approach was subsequently used in three consecutive patients with a clival chondrosarcoma, and the completeness of tumor resection was documented with postoperative magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomographic scans. RESULTS: This approach allowed complete mobilization of the petrous internal carotid artery and surgical access to the mid-lower clivus, jugular tubercle, hypoglossal canal, occipital condyle, anterior brainstem, and the origin of the trigeminal through hypoglossal nerves. It also proved to be safe and feasible in the three patients who underwent surgical resection of a clival chondrosarcoma, allowing a complete tumor removal. CONCLUSION: This variation of the PSI approach is practical, has no additional morbidity, and provides complete access to critical cranial base regions and tumor margins. It can certainly be used as an alternative to the standard PSI approach when dealing with clival tumors and other lesions anterior to the brainstem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Clivus
  • Cranial base approach
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Skull base approach
  • Temporomandibular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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