Anatomic variations of venous sinuses in the region of the torcular Herophili

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✓ In this study of 110 cranial cavities from adult cadavers, the superior sagittal sinus was found to divide into two channels. In most cases, the division was associated with a dural partition. Essentially, the variations as observed in this study could be grouped into three types: Type 1 includes those specimens in which the sagittal sinus drains into one lateral sinus and the straight sinus into the other, with no connection between the two. Type 2 includes those specimens in which the superior sagittal sinuses and the straight sinus fork, and the forks from both sinuses join to form the lateral sinuses. Type 3 includes those specimens in which a confluence of sinuses exists, varying from a common pool to merely a potential confluence, depending upon the presence of pads, incomplete partitions, and complete partitions of dura mater. Rare findings previously not reported consist of double straight sinuses draining into one transverse sinus; the superior sagittal sinus dividing into three channels with two transverse sinuses on one side; a transverse sinus originating from a tentorial vein; and drainage of a tentorial vein into the confluence of sinuses.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Krishna Kumar Bisaria, M.S., Department of Anatomy, King George's Medical College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 226 003, India.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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    Specimen showing the terminal part of the superior sagittal sinus continuous with the right transverse sinus. The undissected double straight sinuses (arrows) are seen uniting posteriorly.

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    The posterior cranial fossa of the specimen shown in Fig. 1. The dissected united double straight sinus is seen continuous with the left transverse sinus.

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    Specimen showing the superior sagittal sinus ending in the confluence of sinuses. A pad-like dural elevation is seen (arrow).

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    Specimen showing the superior sagittal sinus divided into two channels (a narrow left and a larger right channel) by a dural partition at the arrows.

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    Specimen showing the terminal part of the superior sagittal sinus divided into two channels (a large left and a narrow right channel) by a dural partition at the arrows.

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    Specimen showing the terminal portion of the superior sagittal sinus divided by a dural partition (arrows) which extends to the left wall of the straight sinus.

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    Specimen showing the terminal part of the superior sagittal sinus divided by a dural partition (white arrows) directed to the anterior wall of the right transverse sinus. The roof of the right transverse sinus has a circular defect (black arrow).

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    Specimen showing the terminal part of the superior sagittal sinus dividing into three channels. The narrow left channel (larze arrow) terminates in a superficial thread-like transverse sinus (small arrow).

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    The posterior cranial fossa of the specimen shown in Fig. 8. After the floor of the superficial threadlike transverse sinus is dissected, a second deeper transverse sinus is seen running into the sigmoid sinus.

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    Specimen showing the superior sagittal sinus continuous with the right transverse and straight sinuses. The left transverse sinus begins as a tentorial vein at the arrow.

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    Specimen showing a tentorial vein (arrow) opening into the confluence of sinuses.

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    Diagrams of the three major types of confluence of sinuses. Type 1 (A and B), in which the superior sagittal sinus (S.S.S.) drains into one lateral sinus (L.S.) and the straight sinus (St.S.) into the other, with no connection between the two. Type 2, in which the superior sagittal sinuses and the straight sinus fork, and both forks from both sinuses join to form the lateral sinuses. Type 3 (A to F), in which a confluence of sinuses was observed, varying from a common pool (A) to a potential confluence, depending on the presence of a pad (B), incomplete partitions (C and D), and complete partitions (E and F).

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