The vein of Labbe masquerading as an epidural abscess Academic Article uri icon


  • The occipitotemporal vein (OTV) courses over the temporal lobe, connecting the superficial middle cerebral vein and the transverse sinus. This vein is rarely identifiable on computerized tomography (CT) scans and a large amount of contrast is needed to identify such a relatively small vessel. We present a 12-month-old male with acute coalescent mastoiditis and a subperiosteal abscess. An epidural abscess was suspected on pre- operative CT scan. No abscess was found on surgery. Based on the surgical finding, we determined that this misdiagnosis was due to a vascular variant, the occipitotemporal vein (vein of Labbe) that masqueraded as an abcess on the CT scan. Recognition of the vein of Labbe on CT scan is therefore essential for the appropriate management of otological and neurotological disease.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007