European radiology vol:19 issue:12 pages:2958-2964
An aberrant channel was identified on CT in the petrous bone in four patients presenting with unrelated otological symptoms. These channels occurred unilaterally in each case. In two patients, the channel was seen to run between the sigmoid sinus sulcus and the superior petrosal sinus sulcus; in one of these patients, a vascular structure was identified within this channel on MRI, connecting the sigmoid sinus and the superior petrosal sinus. In the two other patients, an aberrant channel was seen between the superior petrosal sinus sulcus and the posterior genu of the facial nerve canal. There were no symptoms that could be attributed to the presence of these channels. We postulate that these aberrant vascular channels correspond to a persistent embryological vein, the lateral capital vein.