Patterns and Rates of Supplementary Venous Drainage to the Internal Jugular Veins

Adnan I. Qureshi, Muhammad Fawad Ishfaq, Nabeel A. Herial, Asif A. Khan, M. Fareed K Suri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Several studies have found supplemental venous drainage channels in addition to bilateral internal jugular veins for cerebral venous efflux. We performed this study to characterize the supplemental venous outflow patterns in a consecutive series of patients undergoing detailed cerebral angiography with venous phase imaging. METHODS: The venographic phase of the arteriogram was reviewed to identify and classify supplemental cerebral venous drainage into anterior (cavernous venous sinus draining into pterygoid plexus and retromandibular vein) and posterior drainage pattern. The posterior drainage pattern was further divided into plexiform pattern (with sigmoid venous sinus draining into the paravertebral venous plexus), and solitary vein pattern (dominant single draining deep cervical vein) drainage. The posterior plexiform pattern was further divided into 2 groups: posterior plexiform with or without prominent solitary vein. RESULTS: Supplemental venous drainage was seen ipsilateral to internal jugular vein in 76 (43.7%) of 174 venous drainages (87 patients) analyzed. The patterns were anterior (n = 23, 13.2%), posterior plexiform without prominent solitary vein (n = 40, 23%), posterior plexiform with prominent solitary vein (n = 62, 35.6%), and posterior solitary vein alone (n = 3, 1.7%); occipital emissary veins and/or transosseous veins were seen in 1 supplemental venous drainage. Concurrent ipsilateral anterior and posterior supplemental drainage was seen in 6 of 174 venous drainages analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: We provide an assessment of patterns and rates of supplementary venous drainage to internal jugular veins to improve our understanding of anatomical and physiological aspects of cerebral venous drainage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-449
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Internal jugular veins
  • deep cervical vein
  • intracranial veins
  • paravertebral veins
  • pterygoid plexus


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