Herniation of an enlarged middle cerebral artery through a temporal bone defect in association with an arteriovenous malformation

Darryl Alan Raley, Andrew Stewart Davidson*, Michael Kerin Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


We present a previously undescribed variant of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) protruding through a defect in the temporal bone, associated with a large arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The patient, a 59-year-old male, presented with a large right frontoparietal AVM with feeding aneurysms and a recent haemorrhage. Preoperative imaging demonstrated a tortuous right MCA feeder abutting the anterosuperior temporal bone in the region of the pterion. An associated temporal bone defect was visible. The patient underwent a pterional craniotomy for surgical clipping of aneurysms associated with the AVM. On reflection of the temporalis muscle, the MCA branch was transected as it coursed through a defect in the temporal bone. This patient demonstrates that the MCA may deviate from its usual anatomy and herniate through a defect in the skull. Because a pterional craniotomy is such a common surgical approach, knowledge and anticipation of such anatomic variants are essential to avoid catastrophic vascular injury during surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1593
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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