Background: The Uncal vein (UV), downstream of the deep middle cerebral vein (DMCV), has a similar drainage pattern to the superficial middle cerebral vein (SMCV) and may be involved in venous complications during the anterior transpetrosal approach (ATPA). However, in petroclival meningioma (PCM), where the ATPA is frequently used, there are no reports evaluating drainage patterns of the UV and the risk of venous complications associated with the UV during the ATPA. Methods: Forty-three patients with petroclival meningioma (PCM) and 20 with unruptured intracranial aneurysm (control group) were included. Preoperative digital subtraction angiography was used to evaluate UV and DMCV drainage patterns on the side of the tumor and bilaterally in patients with PCM and the control group, respectively. Results: In the control group, the DMCV drained to the UV, UV and BVR, and BVR in 24 (60.0%), eight (20.0%), and eight (20.0%) hemispheres, respectively. Conversely, the DMCV in the patients with PCM drained to the UV, UV and BVR, and BVR in 12 (27.9%), 19 (44.2%), and 12 (27.9%) patients, respectively. The DMCV was more likely to be drained to the BVR in the PCM group (p < 0.01). In three patients with PCM (7.0%), the DMCV drained only to the UV, and furthermore, the UV drained to the pterygoid plexus via the foramen ovale, posing a risk for venous complications during the ATPA. Conclusions: In the patients with PCM, the BVR functioned as a collateral venous pathway of the UV. Preoperative evaluation of the UV drainage patterns is recommended to reduce venous complications during the ATPA.
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