Imaging Lesions of the Cavernous Sinus

Authors: A.A.K. Abdel Razek a and M. Castillo b

a Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Masnoura Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura, Egypt
b Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


Our aim was to review the imaging findings of relatively common lesions involving the cavernous sinus (CS), such as neoplastic, inflammatory, and vascular ones. The most common are neurogenic tumors and cavernoma. Tumors of the nasopharynx, skull base, and sphenoid sinus may extend to the CS as can perineural and hematogenous metastases. Inflammatory, infective, and granulomatous lesions show linear or nodular enhancement of the meninges of the CS but often have nonspecific MR imaging features. In many of these cases, involvement elsewhere suggests the diagnosis. MR imaging is sensitive for detecting vascular lesions such as carotid cavernous fistulas, aneurysms, and thromboses.