Ossification of the Posterior Petroclinoid Dural Fold: A Cadaveric Study with Neurosurgical Significance

David Kimball, Heather Kimball, Petru Matusz, R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, A. Aaron Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The roof of the porus trigeminus, composed of the posterior petroclinoid dural fold, is an important landmark to the skull base surgeon. Ossification of the posterior petroclinoid dural fold is an anatomical variation rarely mentioned in the literature. Such ossification results in the trigeminal nerve traversing a bony foramen as it enters Meckel cave. The authors performed this study to better elucidate this anatomical variation. Design Fifteen adult cadaveric head halves were subjected to dissection of the middle cranial fossa. Microdissection techniques were used to examine the posterior petroclinoid dural folds. Skull base osteology was also studied in 71 dry human skulls with attention paid to the attachment point of the posterior petroclinoid dural folds at the trigeminal protuberances. Setting Cadaver laboratory Main Outcome Measures Measurements were made using a microcaliper. Digital images were made of the dissections. Results Completely ossified posterior petroclinoid folds were present in 20% of the specimens. Of the 142 dry skull sides examined, 9% had large trigeminal protuberances. Conclusions Based on this study, the posterior petroclinoid dural fold may completely ossify in adults that may lead to narrowing of the porus trigeminus and potential compression of the trigeminal nerve at the entrance to Meckel cave.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery Part B: Skull Base
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • cadaver dissection
  • microanatomy
  • neurosurgery
  • petroclinoid dural fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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