Thursday, June 22, 2017

Best Post of March 2017: Why is the confluence of the cerebral venous sinuses called the "torcula"?


The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from March 3, 2017:


Torcula is derived from a Latin word meaning to “twist” and was also used to refer to a wine press. Within the cranium the venous sinuses come together at the back of the skull in a structure called the confluence of the sinuses. This cavity has four large veins radiating from it, supposedly resembling the spigots that pour dark purple juice out of the four sides of the ancient wine press used to squeeze grapes with a handled screw on the top. The same stem is found in common words such as torture and tortuous.

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