The Anterolateral Triangle: Implications for a Transnasal Prelacrimal Approach to the Floor of the Middle Cranial Fossa

Lifeng Li, Nyall R. London, Daniel M. Prevedello, Ricardo L. Carrau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The anterolateral triangle enclosed by the foramen rotundum and foramen ovale constitutes part of the floor of the middle cranial fossa (MCF). Objective: To assess the feasibility of a transnasal prelacrimal approach for accessing the floor of MCF via an anterolateral triangle corridor and to determine the extent of maximal exposure while safeguarding neurovascular structures. Methods: A transnasal prelacrimal approach was performed in 5 cadaveric specimens (10 sides). Following the identification of foramen rotundum and foramen ovale, the bony ridge between 2 was drilled to expose the MCF. The temporal lobe dura was then elevated laterally, and the distances from foramen ovale to the respective borders of the area of the MCF window were measured using a surgical navigation device. Results: The MCF was exposed with a 0° scope in all specimens also exposing significant landmarks including the middle meningeal artery, greater superficial petrosal nerve, superior petrous sinus, and arcuate eminence. Average distances from foramen ovale to the anterior, posterior, and lateral exposed borders were 22.86 ± 1.87 mm, 27.24 ± 0.94 mm, and 24.23 ± 1.61 mm, respectively. The average area of exposed MCF window was 554.12 ± 60.22 mm2. Preservation of vidian nerve, greater palatine nerve, lateral nasal wall, and nasolacrimal duct was possible in all 10 sides. Conclusion: It is feasible to access the floor of MCF via an endoscopic transnasal prelacrimal approach with seemingly low risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-678
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • anterolateral triangle
  • foramen ovale
  • foramen rotundum
  • middle cranial fossa
  • prelacrimal approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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