Microsurgical anatomy of the inferior petroclival vein and its relation to surrounding structures: A cadaveric and radiological study

Satoshi Matsuo, Noritaka Komune, Toshiyuki Amano, Akira Nakamizo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The inferior petroclival vein (IPV) courses along the extracranial surface of the petroclival fissure. It is occasionally involved in vascular diseases and has recently been used for vascular access to the cavernous sinus. However, detailed descriptions of its anatomy are currently lacking. OBJECTIVE: To define the anatomic relationship between the IPV and its surrounding structures based on cadaveric dissection and radiological analysis. METHODS: A dry skull and an injected cadaver head were examined to reveal the relationships between the IPV and its surrounding structures. The existence of the IPV and its relationships with other venous structures were also examined by contrast-enhanced, fat-suppressed T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in 26 patients (51 sides). RESULTS: The entire course of the IPV was shown via stepwise cadaver dissection from below. Its relationships with surrounding structures, such as the jugular bulb, sigmoid sinus, inferior petrosal sinus, petrosal venous confluence, and the posterior, lateral, and anterior condylar veins, were also shown. In the radiological analysis, the IPV was identified on all sides. The rostral end of the vein was connected to the venous plexus around the carotid artery on all sides. The vein drained into the caudal end of the inferior petrosal sinus (49/51 sides, 96.1%) or into the anterior condylar vein (2/51 sides, 3.9%). CONCLUSION: A precise understanding of the anatomy of the IPV will enable endovascular and skull base surgeons to achieve diagnoses and gain safe access to lesions involving the IPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E83-E88
JournalOperative Neurosurgery
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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