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Original Article
November 2001

Endoscopic Access to the Infratemporal Fossa and Skull Base: A Cadaveric Study

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatric Otolaryngology (Drs Hartnick and Myer) and Pediatric Neurosurgery (Dr Myseros), Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr Hartnick is now with the Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001;127(11):1325-1327. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.11.1325

Objectives  To demonstrate that the regions of the infratemporal fossa and skull base at the level of the foramen ovale can be visualized endoscopically and that structures can be manipulated within these regions using endoscopic instruments.

Methods  Cadaveric dissection of 3 human cadavers using an endoscopic optical dissector. In all, 6 endoscopic infratemporal fossa and skull base approaches were performed.

Setting  Human temporal bone laboratory.

Results  A Gillies incision was coupled with a lateral brow incision, and then subperiosteal planes were developed. Endoscopic visualization and instrumentation was then performed. The infratemporal fossa was readily identified. The skull base at the level of the foramen ovale and the branches of the third division of the trigeminal nerve were seen distinctly. A probe was placed with ease within the foramen ovale itself.

Conclusions  Endoscopic access to the infratemporal fossa is readily accomplished, with excellent visualization and instrumentation ability. This novel technique provides access to this remote region for evaluation, possible biopsy, and potential treatment of infratemporal fossa lesions.