Imaging of the venous plexus of Rektorzik using CT-digital subtraction venography: a retrospective study

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Purpose: The venous plexus of Rektorzik (VPR), first described by Rektorzik in 1858, is a venous plexus around the internal carotid artery in the carotid canal. However, the VPR has never been investigated using the recently developed imaging modalities. In this study, we analyzed the VPR using computed tomography-digital subtraction venography (CT-DSV). Methods: This study included 253 patients who had undergone head CT-DSV. The presence or absence of the right and left VPRs and their connecting veins were visually examined by two researchers. Results: The VPR was observed in 60 patients (24%), 39 of which showed VPR only on the right side, 10 only on the left side, and 11 on both sides. VPR was significantly more common on the right side (p = 0.0002) and was observed more frequently around the horizontal segment of the internal carotid artery than around the vertical segment. The most common veins identified as distal and proximal VPR connections were the cavernous sinus (63/71, 89%) and the anterior condylar confluence (27/71, 38%), respectively. The mean age was significantly lower in patients with the VPR than in those without (53 vs. 57 years, p = 0.02). Conclusion: The VPR was significantly more frequent on the right side and in younger patients but was not a radiographically constant structure. In most cases, the VPR connected the cavernous sinus and anterior condylar confluence. Preoperative evaluation of VPR may lead to refined surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1968
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • Anterior condylar confluence
  • CT-DSV
  • Cavernous sinus
  • Inferior petroclival vein
  • Internal carotid artery
  • Venous plexus of Rektorzik

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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