J Neurol Surg B
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1692699
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Petroclinoid Ligament: Its Morphometrics, Relationships, Variations, and Suggestion for New Terminology

Joe Iwanaga
1  Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, United States
2  Division of Gross and Clinical Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
,
Juan J. Altafulla
1  Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, United States
3  Swedish Medical Center, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States
4  Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama
,
Santiago Gutierrez
1  Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, United States
,
Graham Dupont
1  Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, United States
,
Koichi Watanabe
2  Division of Gross and Clinical Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
,
Zachary Litvack
3  Swedish Medical Center, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States
,
R. Shane Tubbs
1  Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, United States
5  Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. George's University, St. George, Grenada
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

12 February 2019

11 May 2019

Publication Date:
24 July 2019 (online)

Abstract

The anatomy and definition of the petroclinoid ligament (PCL) and its relationship with the abducens nerve are variably described. The goal of this study was to clarify the anatomy of the PCL and better elucidate its relationship with the abducens nerve. Thirty-six sides from 18 fresh-frozen adult cadaveric heads were used in this study. Specimens were all Caucasian and derived from 10 males and 8 females. The mean age at death was 79 years. Dissection of the PCL and abducens nerve was performed using a surgical microscope. The anterior and posterior attachments of the PCL, and position of the abducens nerve were noted. Subsequently, the width, thickness, and length of the ligament, and diameter of the abducens nerve were measured. Thirty-one sides (86.1%) were found to have a PCL, on two sides (5.6%), the PCL was ossified, and on three sides (8.3%), the PCL was absent. The width, thickness, and length of the PCL ranged from 0.54 to 3.39, 0.07 to 0.49, and 3.27 to 17.85 mm, respectively. No PCL had an anterior attachment onto the posterior clinoid process but rather, the clivus. Therefore, based on our findings, the PCL would be better described as the petroclival ligament.