The benefits of inferolateral transtubercular route on intradural surgical exposure using the endoscopic endonasal transclival approach

Karadag A., Kirgiz P. G. , Bozkurt B., Kucukyuruk B. , ReFaey K., Middlebrooks E. H. , ...More

ACTA NEUROCHIRURGICA, vol.163, pp.2141-2154, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 163
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00701-021-04835-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2141-2154
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background Surgical access to the ventral pontomedullary junction (PMJ) can be achieved through various corridors depending on the location and extension of the lesion. The jugular tubercle (JT), a surgically challenging obstacle to access the PMJ, typically needs to be addressed in transcranial exposures. We describe the endoscopic endonasal transclival approach (EETCA) and its inferolateral transtubercular extension to assess the intradural surgical field gained through JT removal. We also complement the dissections with an illustrative case. Methods EETCA was surgically simulated, and the anatomical landmarks were assessed in eight cadaveric heads. Microsurgical dissections were additionally performed along the endoscopic surgical path. Lastly, we present an intraoperative video of the trans-JT approach in a patient with lower clival chordoma. Results The EETCA allowed adequate extracranial visualization and removal of the JT. The surgical bony window-obtained along the clivus and centered at the JT via the EETCA-measured 11 x 9 x 7 mm. Removal of the JT provided an improved intradural field within the lower third of the cerebellopontine cistern to expose an area bordered by the cranial nerves VII/VIII and flocculus superior and anterior margin of the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle and cranial nerves IX-XI inferiorly, centered on the foramen of Luschka. Conclusions Removal of the JT via EETCA improves exposure along the lower third of the cerebellopontine and upper cerebellomedullary cisterns. The inferolateral transtubercular extension of the EETCA provides access to the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle, in combination with the ventral midline pontomedullary region.