Cerebral venous circulatory system evaluation by ultrasonography

Acta Clin Croat. 2013 Jun;52(2):203-11.


Venous system can be classified as pulmonary veins, systemic veins and venous sinuses that are present only within the skull. Cerebral venous system is divided into two main parts, the superficial and the deep system. The main assignment of veins is to carry away deoxygenated blood and other maleficient materials from the tissues towards the heart. Veins have thinner walls and larger lumina than arteries. Between 60% and 70% of the total blood volume is found in veins. The major factors that influence venous function are the respiratory cycle, venous tone, the function of the right heart, gravity, and the muscle pump. Venous system, in general, can be presented by selective venography, Doppler sonography, computed tomography (CT) venography and magnetic resonance (MR) venography, and cerebral venous system can be displayed by selective venography, cerebral CT venography, cerebral MR venography, and specialized extracranial and transcranial Doppler sonography. The aim of this paper is to show the possibilities of intracranial and extracranial ultrasound evaluation of the head and neck venous circulation and chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency as one of the most common pathologies evaluated as part of neurodegenerative processes in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial
  • Veins / diagnostic imaging*
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging