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Occipital Emissary Vein
Cardiovascular System

Occipital Emissary Vein

Emissarium occipitale

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The occipital emissary vein arises from the occipital vein, which is part of the suboccipital venous plexus.


The occipital emissary vein courses through the small foramen situated in the occipital protuberance of the occipital bone to enter the posterior cranial fossa. Here, the occipital emissary vein usually drains into the sigmoid sinus. Occasionally, it could also drain into the transverse-sigmoid venous sinus complex or the confluence of sinuses (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2016).


There are no named tributaries.

Structures Drained

The occipital emissary vein drains the posterior scalp. However, one must be aware of the fact that emissary veins are valveless channels and hence, the blood can flow in either direction.


Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2016) Bergman's Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation. Wiley.

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A venous sinus is a vein with a thin wall of endothelium that is devoid of smooth muscle to regulate its diameter.

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