Extradural neural axis compartment

J Neurosurg. 2000 Apr;92(4):585-8. doi: 10.3171/jns.2000.92.4.0585.


The lengthy, continuous, slender extradural neural axis compartment (EDNAC), which extends from the coccyx to the orbit, has been not so much discovered as recognized. Through this compartment run arteries, myelinated and unmyelinated nerves, and valveless veins. Adipose tissue is abundant in the orbital and spinal segments, possibly due to movement requirements, although it is very sparse in the skull base segment, the last segment to be recognized as a continuation of the EDNAC, which connects Breschet's veins to the orbit. The lateral sellar compartment (in older terminology, the cavernous sinus) is an enlarged segment of this EDNAC along the skull base connecting the orbit with the extradural space through the superior orbital fissure and down the dorsum to Breschet's veins of the basilar process of the occipital bone. Understanding the continuity of the EDNAC should help the student understand any segment, particularly the skull base. As Batson noted, "Living anatomy is slowly editing and replacing the anatomy of the dead room."

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Cavernous Sinus / anatomy & histology
  • Coccyx / anatomy & histology
  • Epidural Space / anatomy & histology*
  • Epidural Space / blood supply
  • Humans
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Occipital Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Orbit / anatomy & histology
  • Sella Turcica / anatomy & histology
  • Skull Base / anatomy & histology
  • Spine / anatomy & histology
  • Veins / anatomy & histology