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Title: Jugular foramen: Microscopic anatomic features and implications for neural preservation with reference to glomus tumors involving the temporal bone
Authors: Sen, C
Hague, K
Kacchara, R
Jenkins, A
Das, S
Catalano, P
Keywords: Neurosciences & Neurology; Surgery
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: 48 ,4;838-847
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Our goals were to study the normal histological features of the jugular foramen, compare them with the histopathological features of glomus tumors involving the temporal bone, and thus provide insight into the surgical management of these tumors with respect to cranial nerve function. METHODS: Ten jugular foramen blocks were obtained from five human cadavers after removal of the brain. Microscopic studies of these blocks were performed, with particular attention to fibrous or bony compartmentalization of the jugular foramen, the relationships of the caudal cranial nerves to the jugular bulb/jugular vein and internal carotid artery, and the fascicular structures of the nerves. In addition, we studied the histopathological features of 11 glomus tumors involving the temporal bone (10 patients), with respect to nerve invasion, associated fibrosis, and carotid artery adventitial invasion. RESULTS: A dural septum separating the IXth cranial nerve from the fascicles of Cranial Nerves X and XI, at the intracranial opening, was noted. Only two specimens, however, had a septum tone bony and one fibrous) producing internal compartmentalization of the jugular foramen. The cranial nerves remained fasciculated within the foramen, with the vagus nerve containing multiple fascicles and the glossopharyngeal and accessory nerves containing one and two fascicles, respectively. All of these nerve fascicles lay medial to the superior jugular bulb, with the IXth cranial nerve located anteriorly and the XIth cranial nerve posteriorly. All nerve fascicles had separate connective tissue sheaths. A dense connective tissue sheath was always present between the IXth cranial nerve and the internal carotid artery, at the level of the carotid canal. The inferior petrosal sinus was present between the IXth and Xth cranial nerves, as single or multiple venous channels. The glomus tumors infiltrated between the cranial nerve fascicles and inside the perineurium. They also produced reactive fibrosis. In one patient, in whom the internal carotid artery was also excised, the tumor invaded the adventitia. CONCLUSION: Within the jugular foramen, the cranial nerves lie anteromedial to the jugular bulb and maintain a multifascicular histoarchitecture (particularly the Xth cranial nerve). Glomus tumors of the temporal bone can invade the cranial nerve fascicles, and infiltration of these nerves can occur despite normal function. In these situations, total resection may not be possible without sacrifice of these nerves.
URI: 10.1097/00006123-200104000-00029
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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