Microsurgical anatomy of the region of the tentorial incisura

J Neurosurg. 1984 Feb;60(2):365-99. doi: 10.3171/jns.1984.60.2.0365.


The microsurgical anatomy of the tentorial incisura was evaluated in 25 adult cadavers using X 3 to X 40 magnification. The area surrounding the incisura is divided into the anterior, middle, and posterior incisural spaces. The anterior incisural space is located anterior to the brain stem and extends upward around the optic chiasm to the subcallosal area; the middle incisural space is located lateral to the brain stem and is intimately related to the hippocampal formation in the medial part of the temporal lobe; and the posterior incisural space is located posterior to the midbrain and corresponds to the region of the pineal gland and vein of Galen. The neural, cisternal, ventricular, and vascular relationships of each space were examined. The arterial relationships in the anterior incisural space and the venous relationships in the posterior incisural space are extremely complex, since the anterior incisural space contains all the components of the circle of Willis and the bifurcation of the internal carotid and basilar arteries, and the posterior incisural space contains the convergence of the internal cerebral and basal veins and many of their tributaries on the vein of Galen. The discussion reviews tentorial herniation and operative approaches to the incisura.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Stem / blood supply
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Circle of Willis / anatomy & histology
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / surgery
  • Encephalocele / pathology
  • Glioma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Neuroma / surgery
  • Veins / anatomy & histology