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.
- superior ophthalmic vein
- through the superior orbital fissure
- some of the cerebral veins
- sphenoparietal sinus
- which courses along the under surface of the small wing of the sphenoid.
- transverse sinus
- by means of the superior petrosal sinus
- internal jugular vein
- pterygoid venous plexus through the foramen Vesalii, foramen ovale, and foramen lacerum, and
- angular vein
- through the ophthalmic vein