Dural venous sinuses

Dural venous sinuses
Vein: Dural venous sinuses
Gray488 blue.gif
Dural veins
Sagittal section of the skull, showing the sinuses of the dura.
Latin s. durae matris
Gray's subject #171 654
MeSH Cranial+Sinuses

The dural venous sinuses (also called dural sinuses, cerebral sinuses, or cranial sinuses) are venous channels found between layers of dura mater in the brain.[1] They receive blood from internal and external veins of the brain, receive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the subarachnoid space, and ultimately empty into the internal jugular vein.


Venous sinuses

Name Drains to
Inferior sagittal sinus Straight sinus
Superior sagittal sinus Typically becomes right transverse sinus
Straight sinus Typically becomes left transverse sinus
Occipital sinus Confluence of sinuses
Confluence of sinuses Reference point, not an actual sinus
Sphenoparietal sinuses Cavernous sinuses
Cavernous sinuses Superior and inferior petrosal sinuses
Superior petrosal sinus Transverse sinuses
Transverse sinuses Sigmoid sinus
Inferior petrosal sinus Sigmoid sinus
Sigmoid sinuses Internal jugular vein


The walls of the dural venous sinuses are composed of dura mater lined with endothelium, a specialized layer of flattened cells found in blood vessels. They differ from other blood vessels in that they lack a full set of vessel layers (e.g. tunica media) characteristic of arteries and veins. It also lacks valves as seen in veins.

Clinical relevance

The sinuses can be injured by trauma.[2] Damage to the dura mater, which may be caused by skull fracture, may result in blood clot formation (thrombosis) within the dural sinuses. While rare, dural sinus thrombosis may lead to hemorrhagic infarction with serious consequences including epilepsy, neurological deficits, or death.[3]

Additional images


  1. ^ Kiernan, John A. (2005). Barr's The Human Nervous System: An Anatomical Viewpoint. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 428–230. ISBN 0-7817-5154-3. http://www.lww.com/product/?0-7817-5154-3. 
  2. ^ Anatomy at MUN head/cbv
  3. ^ de Bruijn SF, Stam J (1999). "Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of anticoagulant treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin for cerebral sinus thrombosis". Stroke 30 (3): 484–8. PMID 10066840. 

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