Resection of an inferior pontine cavernous malformation using a far-lateral transcondylar approach

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When considering an approach to remove a symptomatic brainstem cavernous malformation, exposure and adequate visualization of the lesion with minimal morbidity should be the primary goals.


We describe the use of the far-lateral transcondylar technique to access a cavernous malformation in the lower anterior pons.


This approach accesses the inferior belly of the pons in an inferior-to-superior direction, where the cavernous malformation approaches the surface between the root exit zones of the abducens (VI) cranial nerves.


We recommend adding this technique to the repertoire of approaches used to resect these technically challenging lesions in selected cases.

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We thank Kristin Kraus, M.Sc., for editorial assistance in preparing this paper.

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Correspondence to William T. Couldwell.

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Garber, S.T., Couldwell, W.T. Resection of an inferior pontine cavernous malformation using a far-lateral transcondylar approach. Acta Neurochir 153, 2461–2464 (2011).

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  • Cavernous malformation
  • Pons
  • Far-lateral approach