Endoscopic extradural subtemporal approach to lateral and central skull base

A cadaveric study

Fuminari Komatsu*, Mika Komatsu, Antonio Di Ieva, Manfred Tschabitscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Endoscopy has provided a less invasive approach to skull base surgery, mainly through endonasal routes, but has been limited in its applications due to potential complications. The aims of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of the purely endoscopic extradural transcranial approach to lateral and central skull base through a subtemporal keyhole and to better understand potential distortions of the related anatomy via endoscopy. Methods: Ten fresh cadaver heads were studied with 4-mm 0° and 30° endoscopes to develop the surgical approach and to identify surgical landmarks. Results: The endoscopic extradural subtemporal approach was divided into 3 sections after exposure of the extradural space in the middle cranial fossa: 1) exposure of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus and the preauricular infratemporal fossa; 2) anterior petrosectomy and posterior cranial fossa exploration; and 3) unroofing of the tympanic cavity and exposure of the facial nerve. This keyhole endoscopic technique clearly visualized anatomical landmarks of the lateral and central skull base via an extradural subtemporal route. Conclusions: The endoscopic extradural subtemporal approach was feasible. This approach could display a wide range of lateral and central skull base structures with minimal invasiveness. The use of extradural space would be key to performing safe and effective endoscopic skull base surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Cavernous sinus
  • Endoscopy
  • Infratemporal fossa
  • Middle cranial fossa
  • Posterior cranial fossa
  • Tympanic cavity

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