Intracranial venous system in the newborn: evaluation of normal anatomy and flow characteristics with color Doppler US

Radiology. 1992 May;183(2):449-52. doi: 10.1148/radiology.183.2.1561348.


To establish the effectiveness of color Doppler ultrasound (US) in identifying flow in the intracranial venous system in newborns, 20 healthy, full-term newborns were scanned. Visualization of the subependymal and internal cerebral veins, superior sagittal sinus, vein of Galen, straight sinus, and left transverse sinus was accomplished in almost every newborn (greater than or equal to 90%). Mean blood flow velocities were as follows: subependymal veins, 3.0 cm/sec; internal cerebral veins, 3.3 cm/sec; inferior sagittal sinus, 3.5 cm/sec; vein of Galen, 4.3 cm/sec; straight sinus, 5.9 cm/sec; and superior sagittal sinus, 9.2 cm/sec. Flow in the subependymal and internal cerebral veins was continuous in all but one newborn (5%), while low-amplitude pulsations were observed with increasing frequency in the more central venous structures such as the vein of Galen (15%), straight sinus (32%), and transverse sinuses (36%). It was concluded that visualization of the intracranial venous system with color Doppler US is possible in the majority of healthy neonates.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Veins / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Veins / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Color
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ultrasonography / methods