Detailed Anatomy of Bridging Veins Around the Foramen Magnum: a Multicenter Study Using Three-dimensional Angiography

Masafumi Hiramatsu, Tomohiko Ozaki, Shuichi Tanoue, Katsuhiro Mizutani, Hajime Nakamura, Kohei Tokuyama, Hiroyuki Sakata, Yuji Matsumaru, Ichiro Nakahara, Yasunari Niimi, Toshiyuki Fujinaka, Hiro Kiyosue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: There has been limited literature regarding the bridging veins (BVs) of the medulla oblongata around the foramen magnum (FM). The present study aims to analyze the normal angioarchitecture of the BVs around the FM using slab MIP images of three-dimensional (3D) angiography. Methods: We collected 3D angiography data of posterior fossa veins and analyzed the BVs around the FM using slab MIP images. We analyzed the course, outlet, and number of BVs around the FM. We also examined the detection rate and mean diameter of each BV. Results: Of 57 patients, 55 patients (96%) had any BV. The median number of BVs was two (range: 0–5). The BVs originate from the perimedullary veins and run anterolaterally to join the anterior condylar vein (ACV), inferior petrosal sinus, sigmoid sinus, or jugular bulb, inferolaterally to join the suboccipital cavernous sinus (SCS), laterally or posterolaterally to join the marginal sinus (MS), and posteriorly to join the MS or occipital sinus. We classified BVs into five subtypes according to the draining location: ACV, jugular foramen (JF), MS, SCS, and cerebellomedullary cistern (CMC). ACV, JF, MS, SCS, and CMC BVs were detected in 11 (19%), 18 (32%), 32 (56%), 20 (35%), and 16 (28%) patients, respectively. The mean diameter of the BVs other than CMC was 0.6 mm, and that of CMC BV was 0.8 mm. Conclusion: Using venous data from 3D angiography, we detected FM BVs in most cases, and the BVs were connected in various directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neuroradiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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