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Occipital Sinus
Cardiovascular System

Occipital Sinus

Sinus occipitalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Commences near foramen magnum in the form of several small venous channels/plexuses.

Course: Runs along the attached margin of falx cerebellum, extending from foramen magnum (caudally) to confluence of sinuses (cranially).

Tributaries: Veins of the hypoglossal canal, basilar plexus, occipital emissary, and diploic veins.

Drainage: Drains into the confluence of sinuses.

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Origin

The occipital sinus is the smallest of the dural venous sinuses. It lies in the posterior cranial fossa and is usually unpaired. It commences near the foramen magnum in the form of several small channels.

Course

The occipital runs cranially and posteriorly along the attached margin of the falx cerebellum and ends at the confluence of the sinuses.

Occasionally, instead of running in the midline, the occipital sinus deviates to one side to join the sigmoid sinus as it passes through the jugular foramen (Tubbs, Shoja and Loukas, 2008; Tubbs et al., 2011). Such a deviated sinus has been termed as the oblique occipital sinus.

Tributaries

Anteriorly, the occipital sinus connects with the sigmoid sinus and the internal vertebral plexus of veins. Tributaries of the sinus may include veins of the hypoglossal canal, basilar plexus, occipital emissary, and diploic veins.

Structures Drained

The occipital sinus drains the venous blood into the confluence of sinuses. From there onwards, the blood drains into the transverse sinuses.

References

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.

Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M. and Loukas, M. (2008) 'An unusual finding of the posterior cranial fossa: one case report', Ital J Anat Embryol, 113(2), pp. 83-6.

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Occipital Sinus

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The occipital sinus, which is the smallest dural venous sinus, runs along the inner surface of the occipital bone.

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