Radiographic Assessment and Surgical Implications of Arcuate Eminence Pneumatization.
BACKGROUND: The middle cranial fossa (MCF) approach is a valuable yet technically challenging technique. Identification of the superior semicircular canal (SCC) using the arcuate eminence (AE) was proposed as a surface landmark. However, the AE is sometimes absent, with inconsistent relationship to the SCC. Air cells in the AE area facilitate safer identification of the SCC. The aim of this study is to determine the radiographic prevalence of AE pneumatization.
METHODS: Two hundred consecutive fine-cut temporal bone CT scans were retrospectively reviewed. The region of the petrosal bone at and above the level of the SCC dome was assessed for the presence of air cells, and graded 0 (no pneumatization) to 2 (well pneumatized).
RESULTS: Four hundred temporal bones were studied. The average age was 49 years (range 18-89). Of all AE assessments, 47 (12%) were nonpneumatized, 62 (15%) partially pneumatized, and 291 (73%) well pneumatized. There was no significant correlation between patient age and pneumatization grade (p = 0.72).
CONCLUSION: The SCC is a valuable landmark in MCF surgery as it holds consistent relationships to adjacent critical structures. Surrounding air cells should facilitate safer initial identification of the SCC, as the AE region is well pneumatized in 73% of patients.
Published In/Presented At
Shoman, N. M., Samy, R. N., & Pensak, M. L. (2016). Radiographic Assessment and Surgical Implications of Arcuate Eminence Pneumatization. ORL; journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties, 78(1), 9–15. https://doi.org/10.1159/000370119
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery