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Left Superior View of Middle Cranial Fossa Floor

Surgical Correlation

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Left superior view of middle cranial fossa floor. The left temporal lobe has been sectioned to reveal the temporal or inferior horn of the lateral ventricle within it. The atrium of the lateral ventricle is a transition space between the body of the lateral ventricle and its occipital and temporal horns. The hippocampus, involved in memory construction, is located deep in the medial temporal lobe. It largely forms the medial wall of the inferior horn of the lateral ventricle. Anterior to it is the amygdala, a nucleus within the uncus and part of the limbic system. The floor of the middle cranial fossa is exposed and the petrous temporal bone drilled to reveal the semicircular canals medially and middle ear cavity and ossicles laterally. Along its superior ridge, within the attachment here of the tentorium cerebelli, is the superior petrosal sinus draining the cavernous sinus to the transverse sinus near its junction with the sigmoid sinus. A portion of the middle cerebral artery is visible as it enters the Sylvian fissure. The basal vein of Rosenthal is seen coursing posteriorly and medially on the medial surface of the temporal lobe and lateral to the mesencephalon. It typically drains into the great vein (of Galen). (Image courtesy of PA Rubino)

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