How I do it: Subtemporal transtentorial approach for cavernous malformation of the pons

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2021 Jun;163(6):1751-1756. doi: 10.1007/s00701-020-04457-9. Epub 2020 Jun 19.


Background: Removal of a pontine cavernous malformation requires sufficient exposure since any restriction on surgical freedom may lead to suboptimal visualization of the lesion, injury to the brainstem, and neurological catastrophe.

Methods: We describe and demonstrate the subtemporal transtentorial approach to a cavernous malformation of the upper pons, with emphasis on adequate surgical exposure while avoiding the need for extensive bone removal of the skull base.

Conclusions: The meticulous technique is paramount to the successful removal of any brainstem cavernous malformation. Along with the surgical exposure, delicate handling of the malformation is demonstrated in the accompanying operative video.

Keywords: Cavernous malformation; Incisural space; Pons; Subtemporal transtentorial approach.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Pons / abnormalities*
  • Pons / blood supply*
  • Pons / diagnostic imaging
  • Pons / pathology