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Anatomy Journal of Africa

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Microanatomy of the trigeminal cavum: Meckel's cave

Landry Konan, Dominique N’dri Oka, Alban Slim Mbende, Fulbert Kouakou, Stéphane Velut

Abstract


The anatomy of the trigeminal cavum also known as Meckel's cave is still poorly understood despite the number of various descriptions available in the literature. The new concept of parasellar compartment means that Meckel's cave and the cavernous sinus constitute a unique entity. We sought to understand anatomic organization of the trigeminal cavum through dissection of 5 previously frozen, formalin-fixed human heads under operating microscope and to gain further knowledge about pathological processes developed in this intracranial region. Meckel’s cave appeared as an invaginated fingered-glove structure tightly attached to the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus and is located in the ventro-lateral quadrant delineated by petro-clinoid folds. The trigeminal porus was observed to be located halfway between the back of the dorsum sellae and the porus of the internal auditory meatus. The trigeminal nerve is the main constituent of Meckel’s cave. The microanatomy of Meckel’s cave is described and the trigeminal cavum can be involved in pathological processes such tumors, meningiomas and trigeminal neuralgia.

Keywords: Microanatomy, parasellar compartment, trigeminal cavum, cavernous sinus




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