Laterocavernous sinus

Anat Rec. 1999 Jan;254(1):7-12. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0185(19990101)254:1<7::AID-AR2>3.0.CO;2-Y.


Here we describe an anatomic structure that takes the form of a venous channel (VC) within the two layers of the lateral wall of the cavernous sinus (CS). Colored gelatin was injected in both superficial middle cerebral veins (SMCV) of 29 human specimens. When a SMCV terminated into the CS, the latter was dissected giving particular attention to its lateral wall. The termination of the VC and its eventual communications with the CS and adjacent venous structures were studied. A VC in the lateral wall of the CS was found in 14 of 58 lateral walls (24.1%). It was in continuation with the SMCV in 13 cases, with the uncal vein in one case. The VC drained into the superior petrosal sinus (71.4%), the pterygoid plexus (21.4%), or the posterior part of the CS (7.2%). Two alternate drainage pathways for the SMCV were observed, toward the anterosuperior aspect of the CS (13.8%) or through a paracavernous sinus located along the floor of the middle cranial fossa (32.8%). These different pathways were not observed to occur concomitantly. SMCV were absent in 29.3%. Despite its close topographic relation with the CS, the VC in the lateral wall can be considered as an anatomic entity with potential clinical relevance. We propose to call it the laterocavernous sinus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cavernous Sinus / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Veins / anatomy & histology
  • Corrosion Casting
  • Female
  • Gelatin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic


  • Gelatin