Management of petrous apex pathology poses a unique challenge even to the most seasoned skull base surgeons. The central location in the skull base with adjacent critical neurovascular structures makes access to this region more than a trivial matter. Significant advances in diagnostic imaging have greatly facilitated the diagnosis of petrous apex lesions. The introduction of modern skull base surgery techniques also has provided skull base surgeons with numerous avenues to the petrous apex while significantly decreasing morbidity. The latest diagnostic and management strategies are discussed and an update of some of the more common pathologic entities is provided.
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