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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193-4

Brain holder for microsurgical dissections.

How to cite this article:
Goel A, Panchwagh J. Brain holder for microsurgical dissections. Neurol India 2000;48:193

How to cite this URL:
Goel A, Panchwagh J. Brain holder for microsurgical dissections. Neurol India [serial online] 2000 [cited 2020 Nov 27];48:193. Available from:

Fixed brain specimen is widely used for microanatomical teaching of neurosurgeons. The need for stable positioning and ease of mobility of the specimen is universally recognised. There is a need to learn the anatomy in an actual surgery type setting. Comfortable and erect sitting position of the surgeon is essential when dissections are done under the microscope. A holder for fixed brain dissections in a laboratory is being introduced.
Brain holder: Two moulds of the base of the skull are made in the form of soup bowls. One mould is made to accommodate the base of the brain including the cerebral hemispheres, brainstem and the cerebellum and the other to hold the brain convexity. The mould for the base has anterior, middle and posterior cranial fossae which are a little deeper and bigger than their actual sizes so that the brain fixes snugly and firmly in it. The mould for the convexity is relatively simple and is in the form of a smooth bowl of the shape of cerebral hemispheric convexity. Both the bowls are placed on a wide and heavy stand with arrangements for circumferential movement of the specimen with the help of a ball and socket joint as shown in the [Figure 1] and [Figure. 2].
A simple method of holding the brain specimen during laboratory dissections is described. The holder helps in holding the brain specimen firmly due to presence of various fossae matching in size and depth to those present in skull bone. Although, the fixed brain is relatively firm, it remains highly delicate and fragile. The brain holder helps to prevent tears due to traction at the level of the brainstem which are possible even when the brain is placed flat on the table. The holder helps to retain the compactness of the brain and retains the natural alignment of various nerves and blood vessels by avoiding excessive distortion. Such a holder is particularly suitable when dissections are carried out with the help of operating microscope. The arrangement of mobility at the base provides an operating room like situation and assists the surgeon to dissect the specimen in a comfortable sitting position. The metals used in our laboratory were an aluminum alloy for the mould with a heavy stainless steel base. The base should necessarily be of a heavy metal to avoid tripling of the brain and the holder. It can be easily cleaned. As no sophisticated technology is employed, the holder is not expensive.


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Online since 20th March '04
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