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Neurovascular Structures within the Cerebellopontine Angle

Surgical Correlation

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Right side of the posterior cranial fossa depicting neurovascular structures within the cerebellopontine angle. The important anterior inferior cerebellar artery is seen here crossing the facial and vestibulocochlear nerves superficially. From this vessel small branches supplying these nerves and the brainstem, as well as, the subarcuate and labyrinthine artery can be identified. The flocculus of the cerebellum has been reflected to better visualize the facial and vestibulocochlear nerves coursing toward the opening of the internal auditory meatus in company with the labyrinthine artery, which supplies the inner ear.  Note the facial nerve arising 2-3 mm anterior to the entry zone of the vestibulocochlear nerve. The foramen of Luschka, representing the opening of the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle, can be seen just inferior and posterior to the entry zones of these nerves. A portion of choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle is also in view. The glossopharyngeal, vagus, and spinal accessory nerves are seen converging on the jugular foramen. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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