The transverse sinus (lateral sinus) is a paired venous vessel that runs through the tentorium cerebelli. Both sinuses begin at the internal occipital protuberance of occipital bone, while they terminate by giving off the ipsilateral sigmoid sinus.
The function of the transverse sinus is to collect the blood from the veins of the cerebellum and inferior surface of the brain. Delivering this blood to the sigmoid sinus, the transverse sinus belongs to the system of the internal jugular vein.
This article will describe the anatomy and function of the transverse sinus.
|Drains from||Left transverse sinus: Straight sinus
Right transverse sinus: Superior sagittal sinus
|Drains to||Sigmoid sinus|
|Drainage area||Base of telencephalon, cerebellum
Origin, course and function
Each transverse sinus originates at the level of the internal occipital protuberance. Most commonly, the right transverse sinus arises from the superior sagittal sinus and it is usually larger than the left one. The left transverse sinus is usually continuous with the straight sinus.
Each sinus courses anterolaterally between the two layers of tentorium cerebelli. While located in the tentorium, they pass over the squamous part of occipital bone through a shallow groove for the transverse sinus. They then continue their course over the mastoid angle of the parietal bone and the posterolateral part of the petrous part of temporal bone. Here, the sinuses take a turn inferiorly and leave the tentorium cerebelli. The transverse sinus then receives the superior petrosal sinus and continues towards the jugular fossa as the sigmoid sinus.
The transverse sinus receives the following tributaries from the cerebellum and base of the brain:
To learn more about the sinuses of the brain, check out our study unit:
Dural venous sinuses occlusion
Occlusion of the dural venous sinuses may result from:
- thrombi (clots)
- thrombophlebitis (venous inflammation)
- tumors (e.g., meningiomas)
The dural sinuses most frequently thrombosed are the:
- transverse sinuses
- superior sagittal sinuses