The fallopian canal: a comprehensive review and proposal of a new classification

Introduction: The facial nerve follows a complex course through the skull base. Understanding its anatomy is crucial during standard skull base approaches and resection of certain skull base tumors closely related to the nerve, especially, tumors at the cerebellopontine angle.

Methods: Herein, we review the fallopian canal and its implications in surgical approaches to the skull base. Furthermore, we suggest a new classification.

Conclusions: Based on the anatomy and literature, we propose that the meatal segment of the facial nerve be included as a component of the fallopian canal. A comprehensive knowledge of the course of the facial nerve is important to those who treat patients with pathology of or near this cranial nerve.

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