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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989 Sep;101(3):302-8.

Lesions of Rathke's duct: another indication for the infratemporal fossa approach.

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Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders, Park Central Institute, St. Louis, MO 63130.


Rathke's duct is a midline structure, arising from the primitive stomodeum and extending upward to the hypophysis. The duct, which normally involutes in utero, may persist on occasion. This most frequently results in intracranial disease. Occasionally, disease may become manifest in the extracranial skull base. We present three such cases: cystic craniopharyngioma, Rathke's cleft cyst, and a persistent cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea caused by a patent craniopharyngeal canal. Each lesion involved the clivus and the parasphenoid region. Surgical management of such lesions requires not only extirpation of disease, but also the ability to recognize and preserve the many important regional structures. The procedure that best allows for the wide exposure necessary to accomplish these goals is the infratemporal fossa approach to the lateral skull base.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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