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The ovine cerebral venous system: Comparative anatomy, visualization, and implications for translational research

: Hoffmann, Anke; Stoffel, Michael H.; Nitzsche, Björn; Lobsien, Donald; Seeger, Johannes; Schneider, Holm; Boltze, Johannes

Postprint (PDF; )

PLoS one. Online journal 9 (2014), No.4, Art. e92990, 15 pp.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZI ()

Cerebrovascular diseases are significant causes of death and disability in humans. Improvements in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches strongly rely on adequate gyrencephalic, large animal models being demanded for translational research. Ovine stroke models may represent a promising approach but are currently limited by insufficient knowledge regarding the venous system of the cerebral angioarchitecture. The present study was intended to provide a comprehensive anatomical analysis of the intracranial venous system in sheep as a reliable basis for the interpretation of experimental results in such ovine models. We used corrosion casts as well as contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography to scrutinize blood drainage from the brain. This combined approach yielded detailed and, to some extent, novel findings. In particular, we provide evidence for chordae Willisii and lateral venous lacunae, and report on connections between the dorsal and ventral sinuses in this species. For the first time, we also describe venous confluences in the deep cerebral venous system and an 'anterior condylar confluent' as seen in humans. This report provides a detailed reference for the interpretation of venous diagnostic imaging findings in sheep, including an assessment of structure detectability by in vivo (imaging) versus ex vivo (corrosion cast) visualization methods. Moreover, it features a comprehensive interspeciescomparison of the venous cerebral angioarchitecture in man, rodents, canines and sheep as a relevant large animal model species, and describes possible implications for translational cerebrovascular research.