Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft | 2019
Implication of the inferolateral trunk of the cavernous internal artery in cranial nerves blood supply: anatomical study and review of the literature.
The inferolateral trunk (ILT) is one of the two more common branches of the cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA). Its knowledge is important for skull base surgery and endovascular interventional procedures. The ILT is described with superior, anterior and posterior branch, which is the complete form. These branches vascularize the oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal and abducens nerves into the cavernous sinus and superior orbital fissure (SOF) courses, and through the foramens rotundum and ovale. We performed 21 injected embalmed cadaveric dissections combined with six specimen tomodensitometry. The ILT originates from the horizontal ICA segment and passes above the abducens nerve. Three branches arise from the ILT between the cavernous ICA and the ophthalmic and maxillary nerves initial courses. The main differences with the literature are the number of branches and their cranial nerves blood supply. The more frequent ILT conformation is the incomplete form with anterior and posterior branch (13/21); the complete form is present in 5/13 sides (38%) and the ILT is in common with the meningohypophyseal trunk in 3/21 (14%) sides. The anterior branch always vascularizes the cranial nerves into the SOF course and most often the maxillary nerve through the foramen rotundum. The posterior branch always vascularizes the mandibular nerve through the foramen ovale course and sometimes the maxillary nerve. This study has demonstrated that there are anastomoses between these branches and arteries arising from the external carotid. This study explains why the sacrifice of a branch of the ILT does not implicate cranial nerve palsy.