The craniospinal venous system

Eur Neurol. 2006;56(2):136-8. doi: 10.1159/000095706. Epub 2006 Sep 8.


The valveless craniospinal venous system consists of veins and plexuses that communicate freely and whose flow is bidirectional. It comprises (1) the intracranial-cortical veins, dural sinuses, cavernous sinuses and ophthalmic veins, and (2) the vertebral venous plexuses, which freely anastomose with the intracranial venous system. The vertebral venous plexuses anastamose with the sacral, pelvic and prostatic venous plexus. It is clinically important since it provides a route for the spread of tumours, infection or emboli. This route may go unrecognised.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Skull / blood supply*
  • Spine / blood supply*
  • Veins / anatomy & histology*