Endonasal transpterygoid approach to the infratemporal fossa: Correlation of endoscopic and multiplanar CT anatomy

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The infratemporal fossa anatomy, from an endoscopic standpoint, is poorly understood. Our purpose was to design an anatomic model that illustrates the anatomy of the infratemporal fossa from the endoscopic standpoint and serves as a training model for surgeons interested in pursuing this endeavor.


Red and blue silicone dyes were respectively injected into the great vessels of the neck. Digital data acquired from a high resolution CT scan was imported to a navigational system. An endoscopic endonasal dissection of the infratemporal fossa was completed under conditions that mimicked our operating suite.


A detailed anatomic dissection of the infratemporal fossa was correlated to the image guidance (navigation) system. This provided a surgical map highlighting critical neurovascular structures and illustrating the potential surgical corridors.


A thorough understanding of the anatomy of infratemporal fossa from the endoscopic perspective allows the surgeon to plan an adequate corridor.

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