Dural Venous Sinuses

The RTM and Venous Sinuses

Dr. Robert Acland narrates a video illustrating the anatomy of the dural venous sinuses, and the related neurological and osteological structures. Particularly interesting to see the Cavernous Sinus in coronal cross-section at 5:40.



Dr. Robert Acland,  ‘Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy Neuroanatomy’ YouTube standard license

Cranial Foramen

Cranial Foraminae And Their Contents – HD Anatomy

An understanding of the anatomy of the skull is essential when working with the cranial mechanism. Learning the skull foraminae and their contents provides a particular challenge, but is also absolutely fundamental in this approach.

It has been said that the most effective way to learn this is to sit down in front of a skull specimen with a copy of Gray’s in one hand, and a glass of wine in the other (!)

However, the video above, clearly demonstrates the various foramen of the skull, and playback can be viewed in high resolution, (after pressing play click on the cog icon on the bar at the bottom and choose the quality from the list).

Once again, this is only an introduction to cranial anatomy relevant to osteopathic practice, and much more detail is available on our upcoming (July) 5-day course:



YouTube – “The Skull Bones – Cranial Foraminae And Contents”  RobbieGVT

Featured Image – ‘Skull and brainstem inner ear.svg’ Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator – Creative Commons License 2.5

The Sphenoid from Gray's Anatomy

The Sphenoid Bone – Quick Anatomy

While learning skull osteology, students often have trouble in orientating the sphenoid in relation to the other bones of the neurocranium and viscerocranium, and learning its many foraminae and features. This is perfectly understandable, as the sphenoid is an anatomically complex bone that fulfils many roles – housing the pituitary, forming part of the orbit, allowing many traversing nerves etc.

The junction with the occiput at the spheno-basilar symphysis particularly causes problems, (a common mistake is to place the basilar part of the occiput against the dorsum sellae) as well as the harmonic articulation of the pterygoid processes in the groove-like bone of the perpendicular plate of the palatine (part of the ‘speed reducers’ system as Sutherland called them).

The video above goes some way to helping us to visualise the sphenoid in situ. Labelled parts of the sphenoid are seen from 1min 33secs onwards, but for those that wish to enjoy guided tutorials on the osteology of the skull, you might like to consider taking part in our upcoming 5-day course in July (shameless plug!)




Video – YouTube:  ‘Bone around Sphenoid bone’

‘Sphenoid’ Image – lithograph plate from Gray’s Anatomy – public domain –


ENT Masterclass Logo

ENT Masterclass 2014

The ENT Masterclass is run by the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK and provides free courses in Otolaryngology and allied fields. There was a conference in January 2014, which was webcast, and the full 7 hour webcast can be viewed online.

The webcast screen takes some time to load the first time, but it does work, and provides all the powerpoint slides as well as high-quality video and audio. This large collection of high-quality post-graduate lectures is well worth diving into. Many previous webcasts from the ENT MasterClass can also be viewed at

10th Annual National ENT Masterclass®
Royal College of Surgeons, London 24-26th Jan 2014

DAY 1: Click Here
DAY 2: Click Here
DAY 3: Click Here

Programme below:


Day I, Paediatrics & Otology

Session I  (Paediatrics)  Master Class lectures:

9:00           Mr. Michael Kuo ‘Acute Airway problems in Children’ (20 mins)

9:20           Mr Ray Clarke ‘Branchial apparatus anomalies & Management’. (20 mins)

9:40           Prof Chris Raine: ‘Masterclass on Cochlear implant surgery’. (20 mins)

10:00         Prof. A. A. Narula ‘Paediatric Sleep apnoea’.(30 mins)

10:50         Mr D Salvadurai Considerations for tympanic membrane repair in children (20 mins)

11:10         Mr. H Kubba, ‘Paediatric Neck Lumps: Evaluation & management’(30 mins)                                             

11:40         Mr S S Musheer Hussain, ‘Can your patient hear?(20 mins)                    

12:00         Panel Discussion (Moderator: Mr Haytham Kubba)


Session II  (Otology)   Master Class Lectures:

13:40        Mr Liam Flood: ‘Pathology of the Middle Ear’ (40 mins)

14:20        Mr. Richard Irving: Intra tympanic pharmacology for the dizzy patient  (20 mins)

14:40        Mr Anil Banerjee: ‘Migrainous-vertigo(20 mins)

15:00        Mr Gerry Reilly ‘The dizzy clinic’ (BPPV & Meniere’s)(30 mins)

15:50         Prof. S. R. Saeed, ‘Masterclass on skull base lesions’(30 mins)

16:20         Panel Discussion: Moderator: Prof Shak Saeed

17:20         Masterclass Report: Mr Shahed Quraishi, Director ENT Masterclass 

17:40         Launch of 6th Annual Journal of ENT Masterclass®, Prof P J Bradley.

17:50         Welcome message: Mr Mike Pinkerton, Chief Executive, Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust.

18:00         Guest lecture: Prof Tony Narula, President-Elect, ENT-UK


Saturday 25th Jan 2014(Day II, Rhinology and Allied Subjects)

Session I : Prof. Anshul Sama, Mr. Derek W. Skinner, Mr Tim Woolford, Mr. Hesham Saleh ,

Miss Claire Hopkins, Mr. Shaz Ahmed, Mr Sean Carrie

8:30    Structured approach to the Frontal sinus  (30 mins)

9:00    Assessment and management of Acute rhinosinusitis (+compl) (20 mins)

9:20    Assessment for rhinoplasty (30 mins)

9:50     Snoring & Sleep apnoea (20 mins)

10:10   Principles and practice of nasal reconstruction (30 mins)

11:00   Olfactory dysfunction- diagnosis and management (15 mins)

11:15   Surgery of the pituitary gland. (15 mins)

11:30   Chronic inflammation of the nose (+Granuloma, fungal) (20 mins)

11:50   Structured approach to Paranasal sinus Surgery + Compl (30 mins)

12:20   Benign tumours of the sino-nasal tract (30 mins)

13:40   Case presentations/panel discussion Moderator: Mr Hesham Saleh



15:20    Mr A Battacharya. ‘ENT textbooks for trainees; which ones?’ (20 mins)

15:40    Registrar free papers presentation:

17:00    ENT Masterclass® Gold Medal Presentations: Prof P J Bradley



Sunday 26th Jan 2014 (Day III, Head & Neck Surgery)


Session I               (Head & Neck Oncology)

09:00                     ENT Masterclass Lecture, 2014Prof Mumtaz J Khan: Evaluation & management of the positive neck after treatment with chemo-radiation. (30 mins)

09:30                     Mr. N. P. Beasley ‘Decision making in Head and Neck Oncology.’ (30 mins)

10:00                     Mr N Beasley ‘Benign salivary gland disease’ (20 mins)

10:20                     Prof P Bradley: ‘The Benefits of attending Academic Meetings’(25 mins)

11:00                     Mr. V Paleri ‘Evaluation & management of the Unknown Primary’.(30mins)

11:30                     Mr Neil Tolley, ‘Evaluation & management of thyroid nodules.’ (30 mins)

12:00                     Dr. A. Norris ‘The ENT Anaesthetist’ (30 mins)

12:30                     Prof Oliver Kaschke ‘P-16 carcinoma in the Head & Neck’ (30 mins)

14:00                     Dr. B. Foran ‘Bio-chemo-radiotherapy in H&N’ (30 mins)

14:30                     Mr. K Ghafoor ‘Strategy for the management of Hypopharyngeal Cancer’

15:00                     Mr M Watson, ‘Reflux disease in the Head & Neck’. (30 mins)

15:30                     Mr Ken MacKenzie:Incidence, evaluation and management of synchronous primary tumors of the Head & Neck

16:00                     Mr. Guri Sandhu: ‘Update: Diagnosis and Management of early Larynx Cancer’. (30 mins)

16:30                     Panel Discussions (Moderator: Mr. Vin Paleri)


The Spheno-palatine Fossa

The Spheno-Palatine Fossa

This detailed presentation describes the bony, neural and vascular anatomy associated with the spheno-palatine (or pterygo-palatine) fossa.

This region is difficult to visualise and understand, and yet the spheno-palatine ganglion (SPG) alone can be responsible for a number of different symptomatic presentations.

In a 2004 paper on SPG blockade injection, the author states:

…accepted indications for the SPG block are sphenopalatine neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, atypical facial pain, acute migraine, acute and chronic cluster headaches, herpes zoster involving the ophthalmic nerve and a variety of other facial neuralgias

Anatomical understanding of this complex area is imperative when dealing with such presentations, not least the ‘lightning’ pain of trigeminal neuralgia or secreto-motor dysfunction in the nasal mucosa, as in chronic sinusitis.

Our upcoming 5-day course provides more guidance and practical help with cranial osteology


1. Windsor, R. E. & Jahnke, S. Report of Technique Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blockade : A Review and Proposed Modification of the Transnasal Technique. 7, 283–286 (2004).


L’Odyssée de la Vie

OK, so we all know how this process works (!) but this stunning computer-generated film of the inner world of embryology is both moving and fascinating. The point of first cell division, and then later from 5.00 where the notochord forms and the heart begins to beat, is utterly beautiful.

For all you embryologists out there, particularly watch out for the tri-laminar disc. telencephalon and other early divisions of the notochord, the formation of limb buds, and how the face conjoins with the eyes, nares and otic vesicles travelling forward and medially. Also, scroll down below the video for a useful diagram of the early brain. Enjoy!

p.s. does this music always play? 😉


the embryonic brain


FILM © FR 3 2006
Embryonic Brain: I, Nrets [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons