Computed tomographyand magnetic resonance image-based analysis of the anatomical variations of the Sylvian fissure and characteristics of the middle cerebral artery

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Homajoun Maslehaty *
Cornelius Deuschl
Bernadette Kleist
Sophia Göricke
Ulrich Sure
Oliver Müller
(*) Corresponding Author:
Homajoun Maslehaty |


The aim of this cross sectional anatomical study is to determine the distribution of the defined anatomical variations of the Sylvian fissure (SF) in a normal population and to analyze its bilateral superposable presentation. Furthermore, we examined the course of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) and the division of the MCA branches in relation to the SF types. A total of 300 cranial CT scans - 100 CT angiography datasets and 86 MRIs of patients without intracranial pathologies - were reviewed. The SF was categorized in five types based on Yasargils description and our previous publication. The length, diameter and branches of the MCA were measured and compared to the SF types. SPSS 23.0 for Windows® was used for statistical analysis. We analyzed data of 300 patients (171 male, 129 female; mean age 51.6years). Symmetric and mirror-imaged coherence of the SF was found in 266 patients (88.7%, χ2(8)=3.04, p=0.932). The distribution of the SF types showed significant differences in patients younger than 60 years compared to older patients. A bifurcation was observed in 72.0%. A trifurcation was observed in 12.0% and a false bifurcation in 16.0% of patients. There was no significant difference of the measured diameters or length of the M1 segments according to the SF types. In this CT and MRI based anatomical study we could show that a twisted and narrow SF occurred more frequently in patients younger than 60 years of age. The SF has a high congruence intra-individually. The anatomical condition might influence the size and configuration of the proximal MCA, which in turn might influence the surgeon’s choice of the approach to the SF. Preoperative evaluation on the basis of the presented data, may help to decide for an appropriate approach to the SF.

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