Head and neck veins of the mouse. A magnetic resonance, micro computed tomography and high frequency color Doppler ultrasound study

Marcello Mancini, Adelaide Greco, Enrico Tedeschi, Giuseppe Palma, Monica Ragucci, Maria Grazia Bruzzone, Anna Rita Daniela Coda, Enza Torino, Alessandro Scotti, Ileana Zucca, Marco Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To characterize the anatomy of the venous outflow of the mouse brain using different imaging techniques. Ten C57/black male mice (age range: 7-8 weeks) were imaged with high-frequency Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Angiography and ex-vivo Microcomputed tomography of the head and neck. Under general anesthesia, Ultrasound of neck veins was performed with a 20MHz transducer; head and neck Magnetic Resonance Angiography data were collected on 9.4T or 7T scanners, and ex-vivo Microcomputed tomography angiography was obtained by filling the vessels with a radiopaque inert silicone rubber compound. All procedures were approved by the local ethical committee. The dorsal intracranial venous system is quite similar in mice and humans. Instead, the mouse Internal Jugular Veins are tiny vessels receiving the sigmoid sinuses and tributaries from cerebellum, occipital lobe and midbrain, while the majority of the cerebral blood, i.e. from the olfactory bulbs and fronto-parietal lobes, is apparently drained through skull base connections into the External Jugular Vein. Three main intra-extracranial anastomoses, absent in humans, are: 1) the petrosquamous sinus, draining into the posterior facial vein, 2) the veins of the olfactory bulb, draining into the superficial temporal vein through a foramen of the frontal bone 3) the cavernous sinus, draining in the External Jugular Vein through a foramen of the sphenoid bone. The anatomical structure of the mouse cranial venous outflow as depicted by Ultrasound, Microcomputed tomography and Magnetic Resonance Angiography is different from humans, with multiple connections between intra- and extra- cranial veins.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0129912
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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