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J Neurosurg. 2004 Nov;101(5):739-46.

White matter fiber dissection of the optic radiations of the temporal lobe and implications for surgical approaches to the temporal horn.

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  • 1Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery Program, Division of Neurosurgery, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Abstract

OBJECT:

The aim of this anatomical study was to define more fully the three-dimensional (3D) relationships between the optic radiations and the temporal horn and superficial anatomy of the temporal lobe by using the Klingler white matter fiber dissection technique. These findings were correlated with established surgical trajectories to the temporal horn. Such surgical trajectories have implications for amygdalohippocampectomy and other procedures that involve entering the temporal horn for the resection of tumors or vascular lesions.

METHODS:

Ten human cadaveric hemispheres were prepared with several cycles of freezing and thawing by using a modification of the method described by Klingler. Wooden spatulas were used to strip away the deeper layers of white matter progressively in a lateromedial direction, and various association, projection, and commissural fibers were demonstrated. As the dissection progressed, photographs of each progressive layer were obtained. Special attention was given to the optic radiation and to the sagittal stratum of which the optic radiation is a part. The trajectories of fibers in the optic radiation were specifically studied in relation to the lateral, medial, superior, and inferior walls of the temporal horn as well as to the superficial anatomy of the temporal lobe. In three of the hemispheres coronal sections were made so that the relationship between the optic radiation and the temporal horn could be studied more fully. In all 10 hemispheres that were dissected the following observations were made. 1) The optic radiation covered the entire lateral aspect of the temporal horn as it extends to the occipital horn. 2) The anterior tip of the temporal horn was covered by the anterior optic radiation along its lateral half. 3) The entire medial wall of the temporal horn was free from optic radiation fibers, except at the level at which these fibers arise from the lateral geniculate body to ascend over the roof of the temporal horn. 4) The superior wall of the temporal horn was covered by optic radiation fibers. 5) The entire inferior wall of the temporal horn was free from optic radiation fibers anterior to the level of the lateral geniculate body.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fiber dissections of the temporal lobe and horn demonstrated the complex 3D relationships between the optic radiations and the temporal horn and superficial anatomy of the temporal lobe. Based on the results of this study, the authors define two anatomical surgical trajectories to the temporal horn that would avoid the optic radiations. The first of these involves a transsylvian anterior medial approach and the second a pure inferior trajectory through a fusiform gyrus. Lateral approaches to the temporal horn through the superior and middle gyri, based on the authors' findings, would traverse the optic radiations.

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PMID:
15540910
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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