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The cavernous sinus in a Macacus rhesus monkey.

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Tlie iisinal dcsci.iptioii of tlie aiiatoniy of tlie c:iveimous siiius is that of
n meshwork of fine trabeculac tlirongli wliicli certain vessels and nerves
pass. Between tlicse strmids run ciiclotliclial-lilleclil-liiie~lvenous spaces wliicli
coniriiixiiicate with eacali other. Aloi.ris ( ' 3 3 ) states "Its (tlie cavei'nous
sinus's) lateral wall contains the oculomotor arid troclilear nerves,
and the ophthalmic divisioiis of tlie trigeminus. . . . The internal
carotid artery and tlie abduceris iieiver a r e contained in the thinner
medial wall of the sinus. " Clornniuiiicatirig anterior and posterior intercavci*nous sinuses a r e rnetitioiicd. Sahotta-nlc~lurricli( '14) shows
tlic oculoniotor, troclilear and abducciis iiei'vcs, atid tlic oplitlialrviic
niicl niaxillarp divisions of tlic trigerninus in the lateral wall of the
sinus. Tlic iritei*iial carotid aiatery occupies ZL more central position
within the sinus. It is sui*r*ouridedby fine trabeculac atid is clearly not
in the medial wall. Poiriel. atid C'liaiyy (1H!)9-1904) arid ('unningliam
('37) list the neives from above dowiiu7ard iii the human as oculomotor,
trochlear, ophthalmic divisioii of the Vth, maxillary divisioii of the
Vtli. The abduccns is stated as occupying a more central position in
tlie sinus. Deaver ( '01) shows five separate large c~hatinelsrather than
a network. H e places thcx oidei* of iic'ives f r o m above downward as
ociiloniotor, tiwlilear, oplitlialniic division of tlic Vtli iii tlie Iatci*nl
wall and the abduceiis iii the niedial wall. IIe does not include the
maxillary division of tlic Vtli iii the list.
While studying a series of sectioiis of the orhit of tlie monkey, wliich
iiicluded the region of the anterioi. half of the cavei'noua sinus, it was
noted that the ai.r.angement of nerves and vessels did not conform
to the above description in certain aspects. It was mitli tlie idea of
describing tlic ai*i*angemciitn s foniid i n the monkey tliat tlie following
analysis was made.
A Ini-ge ciidotlic.lin1-liiicd s l w ~(lahcllcd
('avcriioiis Sinus in f i g
ui'c 1) is secii lyiiig hetwccii tlic iiitcrnnl cni.otitl and the I;
siirface of tlie splieiioid hoiw. This spacc coiitaiiis blood cells aiicl
aplwnrs to he il iriaiii clinniicl of tlic ca\rci*iioiis sinus. Its nieclial wall
is also the periosteum of the spliciioid bone. I t s lateral wall consists of
a more complex arrangement of dnra. Immediately lateral to the sinus
strands of dui*aform ii loose meshwork coiitaiiiiiig tlie internal carotid
a r t e q arid a fern small cndothclial-li~iedspaces. Lateral to this area
the dura is mucli iiiorc compact aiid coiitaiiis the troclilear, oculomotor,
oplitlialiiiic division of tlic trigerniiius and the abclucens. Tlicse nerves
a r e so tightly packed together tliat 110 space can l)c seen between them
and tlieir slicatlis with tlie one esceptioii of the oculornotor which is
1_I- - n
l Lobe
- --- -
I n t e r n a l Carotid
Artery ._
. . e n
Ophthalmic Artery
Internal Carotid
Cavernous Sinus
t m x . div.)
Fig. 1
Tracing of section tlirongli tlie region of the c a r e n l o u s sinns
a Macacus rhesus
separated f i a n tlic dura by a i*atlici.wide space. Tlic oplitlialrnic divisioii of tlie Vtli iiervc lias ah-eady sepaixtcd into fi.oiital, iiasodiiiry
aiid lacrimal 1,raiiclies. Accorcliiig t o the usual descriptioii of botli
hnrnan (Morris, ' 3 3 ) a i d i,liesus monkey (Hiartmaii m d Sti'aus, ' 3 3 )
this braiicliiiig takes place just before the ophthalmic division passes
through tlie superior orbital fissure. The masillary division of the
Vtli is secii in the lower left coriiei. of tlie figui-e, just before it eiitei*s
the f o r a m e ~rotuncluni. It is sni*i*ouiidcdby diii*a but is outside tlic
caveriious siiins proper. Tlie figure sliows the two caveixoiis sinuses
comniniiimtiii:< R ~ T " tlic midliiic.
Tlic diffciwices between tlie iisnal dcxciiptioii of tlic caveimous sinus
and that ol~tainedf i m m sections of tlie iiioiilicy niay be stated a s f o l l o ~:s
S I N U S IN A R I O N l i E Y
(1) Tlic ra\-eimoiis siiiiis i l l tlie scctioii stncliecl is 1iioi.e of a i i entity
or n i a i i i vcwous caliaiiiiel tliaii is usually dcsci4wcl. ( 2 ) The abclucens
IICI’VC’ is scwi just iiifci-ioi. to the ociilomotoi‘, iii close pi’osiiiiity to the
oplitlialniic b i . a l i c l i of tlic triguniiius, a i i t l iiot i i i the iiiedial wall of tlic
cavci’iioiis siiius. ( 3 ) ‘I’lic maxillary tlivisioii of the trigerninns docs
not pass tlirougli citlic>rwall of tlic siiiiis. (4) Tlic medial wall of the
caveixous siiiiis is clearly tlic pci.iostcnni covering the sphenoid bone.
Fig. 2
Scctioii tlirogh ciiveriious sinus of monkey.
Tliis d u i d wall is coiupac*t a s f a r f o r w ~ t das the sinus coiitinues mid
does iiot coiitaiit aiiy ~ c s s c ~ol sr ~ierves. If tlic splitting of tlie
dura which is secw in the lower left coi.nei* of tlie figure is considered
as foimiiig tlic lateral a i i t l medial wails of tlie siiiiis, tlicri all the vessels
and iierws rianiecl ahovc a s passing tlii.oiigh the sinus really lie in its
lateral wall.
1 . The cavcixous sinus ill a Rlncncus i . l i c w x s iiioiikey coiiskts of a
veiious clianiicl which appear” to be less Ijrokeii up iiito “cavcriis ”
tliaii is usually coiisidciwl to h c ~the case iii man.
2. Tlie lateral dural wall coiitaiiis two structuiw usually clcscribed
a s passing tlirough tlie rriedial wall of the caveriious siiiiis, namely
the internal carotid artery arid the ahducens nerve. Tlic compact
medial wall f o i m s the periosteum of tlic splieiioicl boiic.
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monkey, rhesus, cavernous, sinus, macacus
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