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Management of the Jugular Bulb During Lateral Skull Base Surgery

  • Timothy F. Kelley
  • John P. Leonetti
  • David J. Newell
  • William J. Remington
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1994
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The intraoperative management of a patent jugular bulb presents a formidable challenge during the treatment of lateral skull base lesions. Whether to preserve, partially occlude, or completely sacrifice this critical structure is a decision best made following a multifactorial analysis of preoperative clinicoradiographic data, tumor histopathology, and intraoperative findings. Twenty-six patients with tumors requiring dissection near a patent jugular bulb were reviewed. Ten patients had superior neck tumors, nine had primary temporal bone lesions, and seven presented with recurrent parotid malignancies. The most common clinical manifestations were headache and vocal cord paralysis and the most significant radiographic finding was the presence of a mass at the styloid base. Jugular bulb patency was preserved in six patients, partially maintained in seven, and was sacrificed in 13 individuals. This article focuses on the clinicoradiographic findings in patients with neoplastic jugular foramen encroachment, but preserved jugular blood flow. Surgical technique will be detailed through selected case presentations and the management of lower cranial nerve injuries will be reviewed.

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