The 360 photography: a new anatomical insight of the sphenoid bone. Interest for anatomy teaching and skull base surgery


Skull base architecture is tough to understand because of its 3D complex shape and its numerous foramen, reliefs or joints. It is especially true for the sphenoid bone whom central location hinged with most of skull base components is unique. Recently, technological progress has led to develop new pedagogical tools. This way, we bought a new real-time three-dimensional insight of the sphenoid bone that could be useful for the teacher, the student and the surgeon. High-definition photography was taken all around an isolated dry skull base bone prepared with Beauchêne’s technique. Pictures were then computed to provide an overview with rotation and magnification on demand. From anterior, posterior, lateral or oblique views and from in out looks, anatomical landmarks and subtleties were described step by step. Thus, the sella turcica, the optic canal, the superior orbital fissure, the sphenoid sinus, the vidian canal, pterygoid plates and all foramen were clearly placed relative to the others at each face of the sphenoid bone. In addition to be the first report of the 360 Photography tool, perspectives are promising as the development of a real-time interactive tridimensional space featuring the sphenoid bone. It allows to turn around the sphenoid bone and to better understand its own special shape, numerous foramen, neurovascular contents and anatomical relationships. This new technological tool may further apply for surgical planning and mostly for strengthening a basic anatomical knowledge firstly introduced.

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We warmly thank the photographer N. Beysseriat from the ICAP laboratory of University Lyon 1. We are also grateful to the Anatomy laboratory staff that prepared this isolated dry sphenoid bone.

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Correspondence to Timothée Jacquesson.

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Jacquesson, T., Mertens, P., Berhouma, M. et al. The 360 photography: a new anatomical insight of the sphenoid bone. Interest for anatomy teaching and skull base surgery. Surg Radiol Anat 39, 17–22 (2017) doi:10.1007/s00276-016-1702-1

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  • Sphenoid bone
  • Skull base
  • Anatomy
  • Education
  • Photography