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Meckel's cave, also known as trigeminal cave, trigeminal cavity, or Meckel cavity, is a cerebrospinal fluid-containing dural pouch in the middle cranial fossa and opening from the posterior cranial fossa that houses the trigeminal ganglion.
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Meckel’s cave is situated at the posterolateral aspect of the cavernous sinus on either side of the sphenoid bone. Medial to the ganglion in Meckel cave is the internal carotid artery in the posterior portion of the cavernous sinus. Inferior is the motor root of the trigeminal nerve and the petrous apex of the petrous temporal bone with the internal carotid artery traversing the carotid canal. The entrance of the cave (porus trigeminus) is situated between the superior and inferior petrosal sinuses.
History and etymology
It is named after the German anatomist Johann Friedrich Meckel (the elder), (1724-1774) who wrote his doctoral thesis on the trigeminal nerve (V) which was published in 1748, and contained the first description of the cavum Meckelii 2. Meckel's grandson, also called Johann Friedrich Meckel (1781-1833), and thus nicknamed "the younger", was the eponymous discoverer of Meckel diverticulum 2.
There are many lesions of Meckel cave:
- extrinsic lesions: destroy adjacent bone as they extend toward the Meckel cave
- intrinsic lesions: expand Meckel cave
- 1. Kamel HA, Toland J. Trigeminal nerve anatomy: illustrated using examples of abnormalities. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2001;176 (1): 247-51. AJR Am J Roentgenol (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Janjua RM, Schultka R, Goebbel L, Pait TG, Shields CB. The legacy of Johann Friedrich Meckel the Elder (1724-1774): a 4-generation dynasty of anatomists. (2010) Neurosurgery. 66 (4): 758-70; discussion 770-1. doi:10.1227/01.NEU.0000367997.45720.A6 - Pubmed
- 3. Malhotra A, Tu L, Kalra VB, Wu X, Mian A, Mangla R, Michaelides E, Sanelli P, Gandhi D. Neuroimaging of Meckel's cave in normal and disease conditions. (2018) Insights into imaging. 9 (4): 499-510. doi:10.1007/s13244-018-0604-7 - Pubmed