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Dural Venous Sinuses
Cardiovascular System

Dural Venous Sinuses

Sinus venosi durales

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Dural venous sinuses form a complex network of venous channels which drain blood from the brain, meninges, and cranial bones. Some also receive cerebrospinal fluid. Developmentally, these sinuses emerge as venous plexuses and exhibit a variable degree of plexiform arrangement, rather than the single luminal structure (Tubbs et al., 2011).

Venous drainage in the brain begins with the cerebral veins, which drain blood into the dural venous sinuses. These are endothelial-lined spaces, which are situated at the margins of the meningeal folds where the periosteal and meningeal layers of dura mater separate. Unlike veins, the sinuses lack valves (allowing bidirectional flow of blood), and their walls are devoid of muscular tissue.

The dural venous sinuses also receive venous blood from outside the skull mainly via the diploic and emissary veins. The former drain blood from the internal and external tables of the compact bone of the skull, while the latter drain blood from outside the cranial cavity.

The venous blood continues to travel through the various dural venous sinuses until it eventually drains into the internal jugular vein.

The dural venous sinuses may be paired or unpaired. Unpaired sinuses include the superior and inferior sagittal, straight, occipital, and intercavernous sinuses. Paired sinuses include transverse, sigmoid, superior and inferior petrosal, cavernous, and sphenoparietal sinuses.

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List of Clinical Correlates

- Dural venous sinus thrombosis


Tubbs, R. S., Bosmia, A. N., Shoja, M. M., Loukas, M., Cure, J. K. and Cohen-Gadol, A. A. (2011) 'The oblique occipital sinus: a review of anatomy and imaging characteristics', Surg Radiol Anat, 33(9), pp. 747-9.

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Dural Venous Sinuses

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Infectious intracranial venous/sinus is defined as a focal dilatation of the cerebral venous vessels due to microbacterial infection with associated inflammation of the venous wall.

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