Quantitative study on endoscopic endonasal approach to the posterior sino-orbito-cranial interface: implications and clinical considerations

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Aug;271(8):2197-203. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2854-9. Epub 2013 Dec 11.


The posterior sino-orbito-cranial interface is a critical area in the skull base since it represents a gateway to deeper vital regions. Quantification of the surgical freedom for any given point/area is an objective method for comparing in a reproducible way different surgical approaches. Three freshly injected cadaver heads (six sides) were dissected under the magnetic navigation control system. The surgical freedom (SF) and the angle of attack of fixed target points were determined from the ipsilateral nasal fossa, from the contralateral nasal fossa (after posterior septectomy), and after an anteromedial maxillotomy (according to the Denker procedure). The mean pre-operative SF value resulted to be 403.07 ± 102.73 mm(2) for the ipsilateral nostril, increasing by 126.97 % for the binostril approach, by 118.45 % for the monolateral nostril approach after anteromedial maxillotomy, and by 310.48 % for the binostril approach after bilateral anteromedial maxillotomy. Laterally extended lesions require an anteromedial maxillotomy, while more medially located lesions can be managed by means of a posterior septectomy. When addressing the posterior sino-orbito-cranial interface, the transnasal binostril approach and anteromedial maxillotomy both increase the SF. The choice between them depends on exact position, relationship and clinical behaviour of the lesion to treat.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Dissection
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nasal Cavity / anatomy & histology
  • Nasal Cavity / diagnostic imaging
  • Nasal Cavity / surgery
  • Orbit / anatomy & histology
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbit / surgery
  • Skull Base / anatomy & histology
  • Skull Base / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull Base / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed