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Right Anterior Medial View of Cavernous Sinus

Surgical Correlation

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Right anterior medial view of cavernous sinus. The pituitary gland can be seen contained within the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone. The basilar plexus has been exposed overlying the clivus and the abducens nerve can be seen exiting the clival dura to enter the cavernous sinus where it courses on the lateral surface of the cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery. The carotid sympathetic nerve plexus can be seen on the surface of the artery. Within the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus are the oculomotor, ophthalmic, and maxillary nerves. The oculomotor, ophthalmic, and abducens nerves converge on and traverse the superior orbital fissure to enter the orbit, while the maxillary nerve passes through the foramen rotundum to enter the pterygopalatine fossa. Inferior to the maxillary nerve is the nerve of the pterygoid canal or Vidian canal containing the Vidian nerve. It, too, enters the pterygopalatine fossa. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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