The trigeminal ganglion (or Gasserian ganglion, or semilunar ganglion, or Gasser's ganglion) is a sensory ganglion of the trigeminal nerve (CN V) that occupies a cavity (Meckel's cave) in the dura mater, covering the trigeminal impression near the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone.
Blockade of the Gasserian ganglion or its branches is an effective analgesic procedure for trigeminal neuralgia, traditionally performed using fluoroscopy or CT imaging. Ultrasonography allows point of care and real time visualization of needle placement within the surrounding anatomical structures.
Traditionally, a pterional approach is utilized to access the Meckel cave. Depending on the tumor location, extradural dissection of the Gasserian ganglion can be performed. An endoscopic endonasal approach could potentially avoid a craniotomy in these cases.
An endoscopic endonasal approach as well as a lateral approach to the Meckel cave on six anatomic specimens, to access the Meckel cave endoscopically, a complete sphenoethmoidectomy and maxillary antrostomy followed by a transpterygoid approach was performed. For lateral access, a pterional craniotomy with extradural dissection was performed.
The endoscopic endonasal approach allowed adequate access to the Gasserian ganglion. All the relevant anatomy was identified without difficulty. Both approaches allowed for a similar exposure, but the endonasal approach avoided brain retraction and improved anteromedial exposure of the Gasserian ganglion 1).