Cavernous Sinus – Location, Drainage & Function – Human Anatomy | Kenhub


Hello everyone! This is Matt from Kenhub, and in today’s tutorial,
we are going to be looking at the cavernous sinus. The cavernous sinus is one of the dural venous
sinuses responsible for venous drainage in the brain. So, what are dural venous sinuses? Dural venous sinuses are intracranial venous
channels found between the endosteal and meningeal layers of the dura mater. These incompressible venous channels are responsible
for the drainage of venous blood from the brain and the meninges to the internal jugular
vein. The dural venous sinuses are valveless which
allows for the bidirectional flow of blood. There are six paired and four unpaired dural
venous sinuses. The cavernous sinus – also known as the
parasellar sinus – is a paired sinus located on either side of the sella turcica of the
sphenoid bone. It is the only one of the paired dural venous
sinuses that communicates with each other via an anterior and a posterior intercavernous
branch that arches over the diaphragma sellae of the pituitary gland which are known as
the intercavernous sinuses. In addition to acting as a conduit for venous
blood, the spongy cavities of the cavernous sinus also facilitate the passage of numerous
vessels including the third cranial nerve (the oculomotor nerve), the fourth cranial
nerve (the trochlear nerve), the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve (the ophthalmic
nerve), the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve (the maxillary nerve), the sixth cranial
nerve (the abducens nerve), and the cavernous part of the internal carotid artery. The cavernous sinus receives venous blood
from the sphenoparietal sinus as well as the superior and inferior ophthalmic veins and
efferent hypophyseal veins. The drainage of the cavernous sinus is more
complicated than the other dural venous sinuses. It drains via the superior petrosal sinus
to the sigmoid sinus, via the inferior petrosal sinus to jugular bulb directly, and through
the venous plexus on the internal carotid artery to the basilar plexuses. This video is more fun than reading a textbook,
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