The craniocervical venous system in relation to cerebral venous drainage

Diego San Millán Rúiz, Philippe Gailloud, Daniel A. Rüfenacht, Jacqueline Delavelle, Frank Henry, Jean H.D. Fasel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Passing from the supine to the upright position favors cerebral venous outflow into vertebral venous systems rather than into the internal jugular veins. We sought to determine venous connections between dural venous sinuses of the posterior cranial fossa and craniocervical vertebral venous systems. METHODS: Corrosion casts of the cranial and cervical venous system were obtained from 12 fresh human cadavers, and anatomic confirmation was made by dissection of three previously injected fresh human specimens. MR venography was performed to provide radiologic correlation. RESULTS: The lateral, posterior, and anterior condylar veins and the mastoid and occipital emissary veins were found to represent the venous connections between the dural venous sinuses of the posterior cranial fossa and the vertebral venous systems. This study revealed the nearly constant presence of the anterior condylar confluent (ACC) located on the external orifice of the canal of the hypoglossal nerve. The ACC offered multiple connections with the dural venous sinuses of the posterior cranial fossa, the internal jugular vein, and the vertebral venous system. All these structures were shown by MR venography. CONCLUSION: The lateral, posterior, and anterior condylar veins and the mastoid and occipital emissary veins connect the dural venous sinuses of the posterior cranial fossa with the vertebral venous systems. These connections are clinically relevant, because encephalic drainage occurs preferentially through the vertebral venous system in the upright position. The ACC is a constant anatomic structure that may play an important role in the redirection of cerebral blood in the craniocervical region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1508
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume23
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Rúiz, D. S. M., Gailloud, P., Rüfenacht, D. A., Delavelle, J., Henry, F., & Fasel, J. H. D. (2002). The craniocervical venous system in relation to cerebral venous drainage. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 23(9), 1500-1508.