Radiographic imaging of the distal dural ring for determining the intradural or extradural location of aneurysms

Skull Base. 2005 Nov;15(4):253-61; discussion 261-2. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-918886.


The effectiveness of several anatomical and radiological landmarks proposed to determine whether an aneurysm is located intradurally or extradurally is still debated. In anatomical and radiological studies, we examined the relationships of the distal dural ring (DDR) to the internal carotid artery (ICA) and surrounding bony structures to aid in the localization of aneurysms near the DDR. Anatomical relationships were examined by performing dissections on 10 specimens (5 formalin-fixed cadaveric heads). After the position of the DDR, optic nerve, and tuberculum sellae were marked with surgical steel wire, radiographs were taken in multiple projections. The only bony landmark consistently visible on radiographs was the planum sphenoidale. The superior border of the DDR is located at or below the level of the tuberculum sellae, which laterally becomes the superomedial aspect of the optic strut; thus, the optic strut marks the dorsal limit of the DDR. On 50 dry skulls, we measured the vertical distance between the planum sphenoidale and medial aspect of the optic strut (5.0 +/- 0.4 mm), the interoptic strut distance (14.4 +/- 1.4 mm), and the linear distance between the most posterior aspect of the planum sphenoidale (limbus sphenoidale) and the tuberculum sellae (6.0 +/- 0.5 mm). Using these measurements and the planum sphenoidale, tuberculum sellae, and optic strut as reference landmarks, we determined the location of the aneurysm relative to the DDR on angiographic images. In this way, we were able to identify whether lesions were intra- or extradural.