Human Temporal Bone Removal: The Skull Base Block Method

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Objectives To describe a technique for harvesting larger temporal bone specimens from human cadavers for the training of otolaryngology residents and fellows on the various approaches to the lateral and posterolateral skull base. Design Human cadaveric anatomical study. The calvarium was excised 6 cm above the superior aspect of the ear canal. The brain and cerebellum were carefully removed, and the cranial nerves were cut sharply. Two bony cuts were performed, one in the midsagittal plane and the other in the coronal plane at the level of the optic foramen. Setting Medical school anatomy laboratory. Participants Human cadavers. Main Outcome Measures Anatomical contents of specimens and technical effort required. Results Larger temporal bone specimens containing portions of the parietal, occipital, and sphenoidal bones were consistently obtained using this technique of two bone cuts. All specimens were inspected and contained pertinent surface and skull base landmarks. Conclusions The skull base block method allows for larger temporal bone specimens using a two bone cut technique that is efficient and reproducible. These specimens have the necessary anatomical bony landmarks for studying the complexity, utility, and limitations of lateral and posterolateral approaches to the skull base, important for the education of otolaryngology residents and fellows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140103
Pages (from-to)278-280
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2 2015


  • block method
  • modified block method
  • skull base
  • temporal bone
  • temporal bone harvest
  • temporal bone removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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