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Morphometric characteristics of the optic canal and the optic nerve.

Research paper by Miroslav M Radunovic, Batric B Vukcevic, Nemanja N Radojevic, Nemanja N Vukcevic, Natasa N Popovic, Aleksandra A Vuksanovic-Bozaric

Indexed on: 15 Aug '18Published on: 15 Aug '18Published in: Folia morphologica



Abstract

The optic nerve (ON), a major component of the visual system, is divided into four segments: the intrabulbar (IB), the intraorbital (IO), the intracanalicular (ICn) and the intracranial (ICr). The ICr ends with the two nerves partially decussating in the optic chiasm (OCh). The purpose of this study is to provide a detailed description of the dimensions of the OC (the diameter and the surface area of its foramina and the central segment, as well as the length of the OC and the thickness of its walls) as well as the ON (the length of the ON segments, the diameter of the ICn segment of the ON, the angle of decussation in the OCh, as well as the distance between the two ON at the cranial foramen of the OC). The acquired data was then used to estimate the volume of the OC and the ICn segment of the ON. The morphometric research was performed on 25 cadavers (17 male and 8 female) and 30 skulls. The surface area of the central segment of the OC was significantly smaller than the cranial foramen (p = 0.02) and the orbital foramen (p = 0.009). The inferior wall of the OC was significantly shorter than the other OC walls (p < 0.0001). The IO segment of the ON was the longest, where the difference to the ICn and ICr was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The surface area of the ON at the cranial foramen was significantly larger than the surface area at the central segment of the OC (p = 0.02) and orbital foramen (p < 0.0001). The difference between the surface areas of the ON at the orbital foramen and the central segment of the OC was also statistically significant (p = 0.01).The estimated volume of the OC was calculated to be 190.72 mm³, and the volume of the ICn segment of the ON was estimated to be 50.25 mm³. It is absolutely crucial to open the central segment of the OC when decompressing the ON, due to the narrowing of the OC in this segment.