Cavernous sinus

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Venous sinuses base of skull

The cavernous sinus of each side is a venous space inside the skull through or next to which a number of important structures run. It is larger behind than in front and there is one on either side of the body of the sphenoid bone. They extend from the superior orbital fissure to the apex of the petrous portion of the temporal bone. It opens behind into the petrosal sinus. It is important because cavernous sinus thrombosis can disrupt any of the structures running alongs its walls.


Oblique section through the cavernous sinus showing vital adjacent structures

Medial wall

Lateral Wall


Communicates with