Frontotemporal epi- and subdural approach to a cavernous sinus tumor for sphenobasal vein preservation—technical case report

Shunsuke Shibao, Takenori Akiyama, Hideyuki Tomita, Takumi Kuramae, Youichi Mochizuki, Kazunari Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In cavernous sinus (CS) surgery, venous complication may occur in some types of venous drainage. The sphenobasal vein (SBV) drains from the superficial middle cerebral vein (SMCV) to the pterygoid venous plexus at the temporal skull base. A frontotemporal epi- and interdural approach (Dolenc approach), which is one of the CS approaches, may damage the SBV’s route. We report a case of intracavernous trigeminal schwannoma that contained the SBV and discuss our modified surgical procedure that combined epi- and subdural approaches to preserve the SBV. A 64-year-old man complained of right progressive oculomotor palsy and was referred to our hospital for surgery. MR images revealed a hemorrhagic tumor in the right CS. Three-dimensional venography revealed that the SMCV drained into the pterygoid venous plexus via the SBV. After identifying the first branch of the trigeminal nerve epidurally, we incised the dura linearly along the sylvian fissure and entered the subdural space to visualize the SBV. The incision was continued to the meningeal dura of the lateral wall of the CS along the superior margin of the first branch of the trigeminal nerve, and the Parkinson’s triangle was opened from the subdural side. The tumor was grossly totally removed, and the SBV was preserved. In conclusion, a frontotemporal epi- and subdural approach to the intracavernous trigeminal schwannoma can effectively preserve the SBV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


  • Cavernous sinus tumor
  • Intracavernous trigeminal schwannoma
  • Sphenobasal vein
  • Venous preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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