Confluence of sinuses

The confluence of sinuses, torcular Herophili, or torcula is the connecting point of the superior sagittal sinus, straight sinus, and occipital sinus. It is found deep to the occipital protuberance of the skull. Blood arriving at this point then proceeds to drain into the left and right transverse sinuses. The superior sagittal sinus often drains into (either exclusively or predominantly) one transverse sinus, and the straight sinus drains into the other.

Confluence of sinuses
Dural veins. (Labeled with "confluens sinuum")
Sagittal section of the skull, showing the sinuses of the dura. (Labeled with "torcula herophili".)
Sourcesuperior sagittal sinus, straight sinus, occipital sinus
Drains totransverse sinuses
Latinconfluens sinuum, torcula herophili
Anatomical terminology

An older term often used for the confluence of sinuses "torcular Herophili," describes the veins as a gutter, or canal, and honors Herophilos, the Greek anatomist who was the first to use cadavers for the systematic study of anatomy. This term more precisely refers to the concavity in the bone which is the location of the confluence of sinuses.[1]

Additional images


  1. Tubbs, R.S. Neuroanatomy, 2002:1, 14

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