Transanterior Limiting Sulcus of the Insula Approach: Novel Surgical Approach to the Ventral Striatum Region

World Neurosurg. 2023 Jan:169:e9-e15. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.09.115. Epub 2022 Oct 5.


Background: Lesions in the ventral striatum region (above the anterior perforated substance) are a challenge for neurosurgeons due to their direct relationship with the lenticulostriate arteries, which difficult the surgical access. The standard approaches for this region include the following: 1) transfrontal approach, 2) transanterior perforating substance approach, 3) transcallosal transventricular approach, and 4) pterional transsylvian-transinsular route. In this study, we aimed to describe a novel anatomical approach through the anterior limiting sulcus of the insula in order to access the ventral striatum.

Methods: We reviewed the literature and performed a detailed dissection of this region by using Klingler's technique with brain specimens injected with silicone, paying special attention to the white fibers and lenticulostriate arteries, and provided a description of an illustrative case of a cavernous malformation.

Results: Neuroanatomical dissections showed that the lenticulostriate arteries had an inverted C-shaped anterior concavity, leaving less significant vascular relationships in the depth of the anterior limiting sulcus of the insula. In the case we described, the cavernous malformation was completely resected and the patient was discharged without any neurological deficits.

Conclusions: The transanterior limiting sulcus of the insula approach to the ventral striatum offers a safe access route for selected cases and can be performed on the basis of anatomical references. Three-dimensional understanding of the intrinsic brain architecture and its relationships with vascular structures in this specific area is important and can be acquired mainly through laboratory training.

Keywords: Anterior limiting sulcus; Cavernous malformation; Fiber dissection; Microsurgical anatomy; Transsylvian approach; Ventral striatum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dissection
  • Humans
  • Insular Cortex*
  • Middle Cerebral Artery
  • Neurosurgical Procedures* / methods
  • Olfactory Tubercle