After a review of the anatomy of the cavernous sinuses (CS), this work presents the clinical picture and imaging protocol of lesions which occur in this area. It outlines extension and imaging features of these lesions. It emphasises MRI appearance, such as T1, T2 and diffusion signal, type of contrast medium uptake. A complementary CT scan is performed if an associated abnormality of the base of the skull is suspected on MRI (lysis, condensation). This paper proposes a straightforward classification system depending on imaging and sets out the principal symptoms of the main aetiologies of CS lesions which are represented by various diseases such as tumours, inflammations, vascular abnormalities. Complementary to imaging, their diagnosis is based on clinical data i.e. known cancer, signs suggesting inflammation. Its rich iconography allows this article to be used as a reference in current clinical practice. © 2013 Éditions françaises de radiologie. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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