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Central Transclival View of Brainstem

Surgical Correlation

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Coronal transcranial view through central head. Structures anterior to and deep to the clivus are presented in this image. Posterior to the upper and middle clivus is the pons and overlying basilar artery. Laterally, along the lateral surfaces of the body of the sphenoid course the cavernous segment of internal carotid arteries with a perivascular plexus of postganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers. A portion of the petrous bone has been removed to expose the petrous segment of the internal carotid artery. Inferolaterally, the foramen rotundum and pterygoid canals transmit, respectively, the maxillary nerve and nerve of the pterygoid canals, enroute to the pterygopalatine fossa. Along the lateral aspects of the lower clivus are the openings for the hypoglossal canal transmitting the hypoglossal nerves. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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