Sternberg's canal: Fact or fiction?

Barañano, Christopher F.; Curé, Joel; Palmer, James N.; Woodworth, Bradford A.
March 2009
American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy;Mar2009, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p167
Academic Journal
Background: Sternberg's (lateral craniopharyngeal) canal was originally described in anatomic studies as a membranous space in the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus. The canal has been etiologically associated with lateral sphenoid sinus “spontaneous” cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. A patent Sternberg's canal has been reported in up to 4% of adults, and persistent vestiges have been reported in up to 30%. However, no modern studies analyzing high-resolution CT scans have been published. Methods: A consecutive analysis of 1000 high-resolution CT scans of sphenoid bones was performed. Scans were analyzed for a lateral recess, bony defects, arachnoid pits, and holes possibly representing Sternberg's canal. Data were compared with a case series of lateral sphenoid CSF leaks. Results: Average patient age was 38.7 years (10-92 years). A sphenoid lateral recess was present in 35.3% (17.4% bilateral) of cases. Arachnoid pits were present on the floor of the middle cranial fossa in 23.4% of cases. Seven skull base defects were identified. Only one traveling medial to V2 resembled the description of Sternberg's canal. In contrast, a case series of 25 patients with lateral sphenoid sinus CSF leaks all had a lateral recess, defects, and arachnoid pits lateral to V2 (p < 0.00001). Conclusion: Sternberg's canal as historically defined is not nearly as prevalent as previously reported. Furthermore, the presence of arachnoid pits in all sphenoid CSF leaks and the predominant leak location lateral to the sites of fusion of ossification centers suggests that the leaks are acquired. Contributing factors may include arachnoid pits/weaknesses in the skull base and intracranial hypertension.


Related Articles

  • DOMENIUL RELAÈšIILOR PUBLICE. DEFINIÈšII ALTERNATIVE ÅžI COMPLEMENTARE. NISTOR, Eugeniu // Studia Universitatis Petru Maior - Philologia;2011, Issue 11, p90 

    The attempt to define the field and determine the specific configuration of public relations, of their sphere of action, has brought together, during time, specialized professional associations (The First World Assembly of Public Relations Associations, Public Relations Society of America,...

  • Repair and prevention of cerebrospinal fluid leakage in transsphenoidal surgery: a sphenoid sinus mucosa technique. Amano, Kosaku; Hori, Tomokatsu; Kawamata, Takakazu; Okada, Yoshikazu // Neurosurgical Review;Jan2016, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p123 

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is a common but sometimes serious complication after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). To avoid this postsurgical complication, we usually repair the CSF leaking area using an autologous material, such as fat, fascia, or muscle graft and sometimes nasonasal septal...

  • The anatomy of the carotico-clinoid foramen and its relation with the internal carotid artery. Özdoğmuş, Ö.; Saka, E.; Tulay, C.; Gürdal, E.; Üzün, İ.; Çavdar, S. // Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy;Aug2003, Vol. 25 Issue 3/4, p241 

    The carotico-clinoid foramen is the result of ossification either of the carotico-clinoid ligament or of a dural fold extending between the anterior and middle clinoid processes of the sphenoid bone. It is anatomically important due to its relations with the cavernous sinus and its content,...

  • sphenoiditis.  // Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary;2005, p2040 

    The article presents a definition for the term "sphenoiditis," which refers to the inflammation of the sphenoidal sinus. The term is also used to signify necrosis of the sphenoid bone.

  • sphenoidostomy.  // Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary;2005, p2040 

    The article presents a definition for the term "sphenoidostomy," which refers to a surgery to create an opening into the sphenoid sinus.

  • Pseudomeningoceles of the sphenoid sinus masquerading as sinus pathology. Amedee, Ronald G. // American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy;May/Jun2012, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p251 

    No abstract available.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. Kang-Chao Wu; Ying-Piao Wang; Min-Tsan Shu; Hung-Ching Lin // ENT: Ear, Nose & Throat Journal;Nov2012, Vol. 91 Issue 11, pE32 

    Clinical images from high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of a 35-year-old woman presented with a 1-month history of a clear, watery, left nasal discharge on bending forward and diagnosed with spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea from the left sphenoid sinus defect are presented.

  • Lateral sphenoid sinus recess cerebrospinal fluid leak: a case series. Melo, Nelson; Borges, Bruno; Filho, Pedro; Godoy, Maria; Pereira, Larissa; Rezende Pinna, Fabio; Voegels, Richard // European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology;Sep2014, Vol. 271 Issue 9, p2587 

    The lateral recess of the sphenoid sinus is one of the most common sites of meningocele and spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. Despite the availability of several techniques for closure of skull base defects occurring in this location, recurrence still poses a major challenge. This...

  • Variations in Lateral Sphenoid Sinus Wall Defects. Nakache, Gabriel; Yakirevitch, Arkadi; Bedrin, Lev // Indian Journal of Neurosurgery;2015, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p98 

    Objective The article aims to present different forms of lateral sphenoid sinus wall defects. Study Design Case series and literature review. Methods A comparison between two patients who presented with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea, defects in the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus, and meningeal...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics