In a survey of the literature on the surgical importance of the emissary vein, usually described as the external mastoid vein, one is impressed with the minimum amount of material presented. This is especially noticeable in the American publications. Somewhat more has been published in the foreign journals. There are few subjects in otolaryngology on which less has been written, particularly in regard to the surgical and clinical aspects. Whether this is due to a lack of interest or to the prevailing opinion that it is of no consequence, I am unable to state.
Cheatle1 published the most comprehensive article (in English) on the mastoid vein that I have had access to. He discussed the anatomy of the mastoid vein, its variability and its vestigial character. His observations are based on a study of many hundreds of skulls. His study also included the mastoid foramen, with deductions therefrom as
ZIEGELMAN EF. SURGICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE MASTOID VEIN IN INFECTED LATERAL SINUS THROMBOSIS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1933;18(3):298–309. doi:10.1001/archotol.1933.03580060320004
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