Health & Medical Diseases & Conditions

What is Cavernous Sinus? - Know More About Cavernous Sinus

Let us first learn where it is located to know more about what is cavernous sinus.
The cavernous sinus is called the lateral sellar compartment and it is located inside the human head.
The cavity is made up of a set of veins within a thin wall.
It is seen on one side of the temporal bone and sphenoid bone of the skull.
So what is cavernous sinus cavity? It is similar to other sinus by being placed in the cavity of the cranium.
It is combination of trochlear nerve, maxillary nerve, oculomotor nerve and ophthalmic nerve.
On a flat plane it is comprised of abducens nerve and internal carotid artery and sympathetic plexus.
All these give it a very complicated structure and character.
Finally it can be concluded as a hollow of a skull holding a number of nerves.
The pituitary gland lies in between the cavernous sinuses pair.
The cavernous sinus compresses if there is a growth in the pituitary gland ultimately leading to tumors and opthalmpplegia (loss of ophthalmic sense) and maxillary nerve compression leads to maxillary sensory loss.
What is Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis? Cavernous sinus thrombosis seldom occurs now days.
Ten percent of people may be affected by blindness in this case.
Corneal ulceration is caused due to lid closure.
Due to contact of the cavernous sinusitis with other venous channels, an infection may occur.
It has to be diagnosed clinically and no lab culture is prevalent.
The symptoms found are blindness, ocular and conjunctival congestion, ophthalmoplegia, elevation of ocular pressure and pain.
The signs may be one-sided or two-sided; they may be sharp and progress slowly.
What is cavernous sinus tumor?
  • A paralysis of eye muscles is seen with diplopis (two visions of a single image) is very common.
  • A history of cancer is also predicted.
  • The eyeball is seen protruding abnormally.
  • Endocrine and visual defects are also present.
  • A chronic sinusitis or diabetic patients are at high risk of acquiring it.
  • Staphylococcus aureus, is the contributing agent, although streptococci, pneumococci, and fungi may be implicated in rare cases.
How to detect CT scan is taken to get an idea of bone and calcium.
MRI provides features of soft tissues inside the sinus and the surrounding structures.
Orbital views are also needed, seeing superior and inferior orbital veins helps in diagnosing the venous pressure.
Based on the findings further treatment could be given.

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