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View of Posterior Wall of Sphenoid Sinus and Adjacent Cavernous Sinuses

Surgical Correlation

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View of posterior wall of sphenoid sinus and adjacent cavernous sinuses. For orientation, superior is toward the bottom border of the image; posterior is toward the back of the image. In this perspective, the posterior wall and clival recess of the sphenoid sinus are in view. The sella turcica is located in the superior part of this space. The lateral walls of the sinus have been removed to expose the cavernous sinuses and cavernous parts of the internal carotid arteries. Near the floor of each sinus is the maxillary nerve associated with the foramen rotundum located at the junction of the greater wing and body of the sphenoid. Inferomedial to these structures are the Vidian nerves coursing within their corrresponding canals (pterygoid or Vidian canals) located along the floor of the sphenoid sinus at the junction between the body and pterygoid processes. These, like the maxillary nerves, will enter the pterygopalatine fossa. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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