European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 22 - Number 4
Eur J Anat, 22 (4): 371-373 (2018)

A possible new etiology for ophthalmic varicose veins: disseminated intracranial hyperostosis

Félix J. de Paz1, Josep M. Potau2, Isabel San José1, Marta González1, Mercedes Barbosa1, Natividad García1

1Department of Anatomy and Radiology, University of Valladolid, Spain, 2Unit of Human Anatomy and Embryology, University of Barcelona, Spain

ABSTRACT We wanted to see if cranial anatomical alterations could influence the vascularization of the eyeball, particularly in the production of ophthalmic varicose veins. Orbital dissection of 85 years old woman (who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory failure).We observed, when performing a horizontal section of the skull to access the roof of the orbit, that the intracranial surface of the anterior and middle cranial fossae was partially covered by bony outgrowths, with the optical aperture and superior orbital fissure included. Also, when removing the roof of the orbits and beginning to extract the orbital fat we saw a dark, bilateral mass in the upper part of the orbital cavity corresponding to very dilated vessels. Bone alteration of the internal face of the skull was a diffuse intracranial hyperostosis and the dark dilated masses were superior ophthalmic varicose veins.Our hypothesis is that the origin of these ophthalmic varicose veins was the narrowing of the superior orbital fissure due to excessive bone proliferation. Intracranial hyperostosis produces a difficulty in draining orbital venous blood and, consequently, venous dilation. For this reason, we should consider this in the differential diagnosis.

Keywords: Endocranial hyperostosis – Ophthalmic varices etiology

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)