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  • Author or Editor: Keith Aronyk x
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Kelly D. Johnston, Anil H. Walji, Richard J. Fox, Jeffrey A. Pugh and Keith E. Aronyk

Object

The purpose of this human cadaver study was to determine whether or not an intraosseous skull infusion would access the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) via intradural venous channels. The diploic space of the skull bone contains a sinusoidal vascular network that communicates with the underlying dura mater. Diploic veins in the parasagittal area connect with endothelium-lined intradural channels in the subjacent dura and ultimately with the dural venous sinuses. A significant proportion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) absorption is thought to occur via arachnoid granulations in the region of the SSS and especially along the parasagittal dura where arachnoid granulations are surrounded by intradural venous channels (lateral lacunae). The CSF is likely to be conducted from the subarachnoid space into the venous system via the fine intradural channels making up the lateral lacunae.

Methods

Infusion of vinyl acetate casting material into the diploic space of the human cadaveric skull resulted in complete filling of the lateral lacunae and SSS. Corrosion casting techniques and examination under magnification were used to characterize the anatomical connections between diploic spaces and dural venous sinuses.

Results

Corrosion casting, performed on five formalin-fixed cadavers, clearly showed the anatomical connections between the diploic infusion site and the venous sinuses in the underlying parasagittal dura where some of the CSF is thought to be absorbed.

Conclusions

The diploic vascular channels of the human skull may represent an indirect pathway into the dural venous sinuses. Intraosseous skull infusion may represent another possible strategy for diversion of CSF into the vascular system in the treatment of hydrocephalus.

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Jeffrey A. Pugh, Jonathan Tyler, Thomas A. Churchill, Richard J. Fox and Keith E. Aronyk

Object

Hydrocephalus results from abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes or flow patterns. The absorption of CSF is determined largely by pressures within veins and venous sinuses in the head and adjacent to the spine. Most surgical solutions for hydrocephalus involve diversion of excess CSF into alternative absorption sites, and most of these solutions are still suboptimal. The focus of this work has been to recreate more normal CSF absorption into the dural venous sinuses without having to directly access the superior sagittal sinus (SSS).

Methods

Intraosseous skull infusion for the purpose of accessing the SSS and the systemic venous system was tested by experimental skull infusions of tracer fluids into living large animals (14 adult pigs).

Compared with control injections into an ear vein, infusions into the skull through specially designed infusion devices had similar systemic absorption characteristics. This suggested that intraosseous skull infusion in a living large animal was successful in gaining access to the SSS and systemic venous system.

Conclusions

This study constitutes the first demonstration of the success of intraosseous skull infusion in gaining rapid access to the systemic venous system and it thus opens the possibility of using this strategy for diversion of CSF back into the intracranial venous system for the treatment of hydrocephalus.