Transverse sinus

The paired left and right transverse sinuses are major dural venous sinuses and arise from the confluence of the superior sagittal, occipital and straight sinuses at the torcular herophili (confluence of sinuses).

On each side, the transverse sinus then runs in the lateral border of the tentorium cerebelli and grooves the occipital and squamous temporal bones. They terminate in the sigmoid sinus just as it receives the superior petrosal sinus from the cavernous sinus. In turn, the sigmoid sinuses continue as the jugular bulbs in the skull base.

Variant anatomy

The transverse sinuses exhibit highly variable anatomy, which at times makes imaging evaluation of them, in those with possible dural venous sinus thrombosis, very difficult. For example, one study demonstrated 1:

  • 39% hypoplasia of the left sinus
  • 31% symmetric
  • 20% aplasia of the left sinus
  • 6% hypoplasia of the right sinus
  • 4% aplasia of the right sinus
Anatomy: Brain

Anatomy: Brain

Article information

rID: 5055
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Right transverse sinuses
  • Right transverse sinus
  • Left transverse sinus
  • Left transverse sinuses
  • Transverse sinuses

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: diagram - dural venous sinuses
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  • Figure 2: diagram - cerebral veins
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  • Figure 3: venous vascular territories of the lateral cerebral cortex (illustration)
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  • Figure 4: venous vascular territories (illustration)
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