Cranial dural arteriovenous shunts. Part 1. Anatomy and embryology of the bridging and emissary veins.

Neurosurg Rev 2015 Apr 3;38(2):253-63; discussion 263-4. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Zurich, Frauenklinikstrasse 108091, Zurich, Switzerland,

We reviewed the anatomy and embryology of the bridging and emissary veins aiming to elucidate aspects related to the cranial dural arteriovenous fistulae. Data from relevant articles on the anatomy and embryology of the bridging and emissary veins were identified using one electronic database, supplemented by data from selected reference texts. Persisting fetal pial-arachnoidal veins correspond to the adult bridging veins. Relevant embryologic descriptions are based on the classic scheme of five divisions of the brain (telencephalon, diencephalon, mesencephalon, metencephalon, myelencephalon). Variation in their exact position and the number of bridging veins is the rule and certain locations, particularly that of the anterior cranial fossa and lower posterior cranial fossa are often neglected in prior descriptions. The distal segment of a bridging vein is part of the dural system and can be primarily involved in cranial dural arteriovenous lesions by constituting the actual site of the shunt. The veins in the lamina cribriformis exhibit a bridging-emissary vein pattern similar to the spinal configuration. The emissary veins connect the dural venous system with the extracranial venous system and are often involved in dural arteriovenous lesions. Cranial dural shunts may develop in three distinct areas of the cranial venous system: the dural sinuses and their interfaces with bridging veins and emissary veins. The exact site of the lesion may dictate the arterial feeders and original venous drainage pattern.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-014-0590-2DOI Listing
April 2015
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