Spetzler RF, Kalani MYS, Nakaji P, Yagmurlu K. Color Atlas of Brainstem Surgery. Thieme; 2017; 416 pp; 850 ill; $249.99
This recent publication is a unique work that emphasizes the structural and functional anatomy of the thalamus and brainstem and provides guidance for accessing these regions surgically for intrinsic lesions. The print atlas is accompanied by a large collection of online media, including animations and narrated surgical videos.
The book opens with an overview of anatomy, beginning with surface structures and perpendicular sections of whole fixed brains and progressing through focused dissections. To clarify specific relationships, it strategically incorporates diagrams of deep venous anatomy and cisterns around the brainstem. It summarizes the function and location of the long fiber tracts at the level of the cerebrum, midbrain, pons, medulla, and spinal cord, reviewing the clinically significant deficits incurred with lesions at each level. The discussion then integrates these concepts to introduce the safe entry zones of the brainstem, identifying both surface and deep structures that must be avoided. Fixed tissue dissections of varying depth demonstrate the three-dimensional relationships of adjacent tracts and nuclei. Full-color illustrations and dissection views of the associated vasculature are accompanied by axial slices depicting the territories of arterial supply. The combination of detailed sketches and meticulous dissections helps the reader bridge the conceptual gap between cross-sectional images and a surgeon’s view of the deeper structures that are imminently transgressed. The anatomy section finishes with a summary of the skull base foramina and traversing cranial nerves.
The next section of the book specifically describes the safe entry zones and nearby landmarks, with illustrations that depict the surface and cross-sectional anatomy of each zone. Some of this content is outlined in the preceding chapter, but this section provides a detailed rationale for the use of the safe …