Imaging the cerebrovascular tree in the cadaveric head for planning surgical strategy

Jin Cheng Zhao, Chi Chen, Sami S. Rosenblatt, Joel R. Meyer, Robert R. Edelman, H. Hunt Batjer, Ivan S. Ciric, Gary K. Steinberg, Iver A. Langmoen, Andreas Raabe, Volker Seifert, Antonio Cesar Mussi, Evandro P. De Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to identify whether an integration of cadaveric dissections with preoperative imaging information may enable a better understanding of pathological anatomy, especially vascular lesions, and thus allow for greater precision in surgical planning. METHODS: We selected a computed tomographic contrast agent and experimentally determined the proportion of it that could mix compatibly with the silicone compound. The resultant mixture was injected into the cerebrovascular systems of six fresh human cadaveric heads. The specimens underwent computed tomography for the purpose of digital virtual exposures in parallel with laboratory dissections performed on these specimens. RESULTS: The 1:8 ratio of contrast agent to silicone rubber was determined to be appropriate for both computed tomography and subsequent laboratory dissection of the specimens. The blood vessels in computed tomographic scans demonstrated a higher attenuation than surrounding soft tissues. The opacity consistency of the injected vessels was a critical parameter for a clear three-dimensional rendering of the vascular structures in the natural surroundings of the skull base. Static and dynamic three-dimensional images of the cadaveric vascular tree were obtained as viewed through surgical corridors of various skull base approaches. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated a new cadaveric preparation model for imaging and dissection. This model allows for static and dynamic three-dimensional examination of the surgical anatomy from a neurosurgeon's perspective. It may facilitate the study of cerebrovascular system morphology/pathology in relation to the skull base as a tool for surgical planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1228
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Cadaver preparation
  • Cerebrovascular tree
  • Imaging
  • Surgical planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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