Utilization of fluorescein for identification and preservation of the facial nerve and semicircular canals for safe mastoidectomy: a proof of concept laboratory cadaveric study

Christian Gragnaniello, Mahmoud Kamel, Ossama Al-Mefty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Mastoidectomy can be a very challenging procedure for many reasons. The normal anatomy can be distorted because of inflammatory processes and tumors and recurrences. Avoiding injuries to the semicircular canals (SCCs) and facial canal is mandatory, and there is need to find a way to recognize the facial nerve and SCCs for safe performance of mastoidectomy. We describe, as a proof of concept, a novel technique to drill the mastoid while allowing the surgeon to recognize and avoid injuries to vital structures, in the cadaver. METHODS: Four fresh cadaveric heads (8 sides) were prepared by cannulating the major vessels at the level of the neck. After removal of the mastoid cortex, indocyanine green was injected in the vessels. The sigmoid sinus alongside the facial nerve and SCCs was skeletonized using the drilling guidance provided by the fluorescence. The mucosa covering the air cells of the mastoid is very well vascularized compared with the thick bone representing the outer layer of the SCCs and facial canal. Consequently, after the indocyanine green injection, the mucosa shines whereas the bone does not. The fluorescence guides the drilling displaying air cells that are safe to remove. RESULTS: Eight mastoidectomies were performed, resulting in optimal drilling with no injuries to the facial canal and SCCs. CONCLUSION:With this novel technique, it is possible to perfectly skeletonize the facial nerve and the SCCs in the cadaver. We think that this technique can be an adjunct in the armamentarium of trainees that are not familiar with the anatomy of the temporal bone and eventually of neurosurgeons facing lesions that require the removal of various degrees of the mastoid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-207
Number of pages4
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • facial nerve
  • fluorescein
  • indocyanine green
  • mastoidectomy
  • microsurgery
  • semicircular canals
  • surgical technique

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