Sinus pericranii: dermatologic considerations and literature review

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Jun;46(6):934-41. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2002.120600.


Sinus pericranii is a rare disorder characterized by a congenital or acquired epicranial blood-filled nodule of the scalp that is in communication with an intracranial dural sinus through dilated diploic veins of the skull. We describe two patients with sinus pericranii: a 3-year-old boy with a congenital lesion and a 3-year-old girl whose lesion appeared after head trauma. We discuss the clinical presentation, dermatologic manifestations, differential diagnosis, and management as described in the available published literature. Patients with sinus pericranii may be brought to the attention of dermatologists and dermatopathologists because of skin changes in the scalp or forehead. The diagnosis is difficult to make clinically, because the skin manifestations are highly variable and may resemble other disorders of the scalp and cranium. The potentially lethal complications including hemorrhage, infection, and air embolism warrant a high index of suspicion for sinus pericranii.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Forehead
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occipital Bone / injuries*
  • Sinus Pericranii / diagnosis*
  • Sinus Pericranii / diagnostic imaging
  • Sinus Pericranii / etiology
  • Sinus Pericranii / pathology
  • Sinus Pericranii / surgery
  • Skull Fractures / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed