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Anatomic Study Quantifying the Relationship Between the Arcuate Eminence and the Root of the Zygoma: Application to Skull Base Surgery. World Neurosurg 2021 Feb;146:e773-e778



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85097176350 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   2 Citations


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to define the structural relationship between the arcuate eminence (AE) and a known fixed external bony landmark, the root of the zygoma (ZR), and to determine its reliability as a consistent guide for guiding surgical approaches. To our knowledge, this is the only anatomic study to quantify the relationship between the AE and ZR.

METHODS: Twenty-one dry temporal bones were measured using digital calipers. The distance from the posterior aspect of the ZR to the midpoint of the AE was measured. Additionally, the anteroposterior distance between the ZR and AE and vertical distance between the 2 structures were measured. Student's t-test was used to compare the left and right sides.

RESULTS: An AE was found in every specimen. The mean ZR to AE distance was 30.9 mm. On most sides (91%), the ZR was located more inferiorly than the AE with a mean distance of 3 mm between the 2 structures. The mean distance between the AE and ZR was 17 mm. On all sides, the AE was located posterior to the ZR. No significant differences were found between sides. No anatomic variations or pathologic conditions were noted in any of the specimens.

CONCLUSIONS: The ZR is an easily identifiable and consistent bony landmark often used by skull base surgeons. In this investigation, we measured the anatomic relationships between the ZR and AE. Such data might assist in planning surgical trajectories and minimizing complications when skull base pathologies are approached.

Author List

Lockwood J, Mathkour M, Nerva JD, Iwanaga J, Bui CJ, Vale FL, Dumont AS, Tubbs RS


John D. Nerva MD Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anatomic Landmarks
Cranial Fossa, Middle
Imaging, Three-Dimensional
Neurosurgical Procedures
Skull Base
Temporal Bone
Tomography, X-Ray Computed