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J Neurosurg. 2000 Sep;93(3):480-3.

An unusual pterygopalatine meningocele associated with neurofibromatosis type 1. Case report.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


The authors describe an unusual meningocele of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus and the anterior skull base in a young patient with typical stigmata of neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). This lesion was discovered during evaluation for recurrent meningitis. It represented an anterior continuation of Meckel's cave into a large cerebrospinal fluid space within the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus, extending extracranially through an enlarged superior orbital fissure into the pterygopalatine fossa adjacent to the nasal cavity. It was successfully obliterated, via an intradural middle fossa approach, with fat packing and fenestration into the subarachnoid space. This meningocele most likely represents a variant of cranial nerve dural ectasia occasionally seen in individuals with NF1. It has as its basis the same mesodermal defect responsible for the more common sphenoid wing dysplasia and spinal dural ectasias identified with this condition. Involvement of the trigeminal nerve with expansion of the lateral wall of cavernous sinus has not been reported previously. The authors surmise, however, that it may be present in some cases of orbital meningocele associated with sphenoid wing dysplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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