Annotated Sagittal ATECO MR Venogram
A sagittal (i.e. viewed from the side) Auto-Triggered Elliptic Centric Ordered sequence (ATECO) three dimensional gadolinium enhanced Magnetic Resonance Venogram (MRV). This picture of the veins draining my brain was determined to be completely within normal variation. The head itself might result in a different determination, but the veins are just fine.
This test was tacked on to the end of the rest of a series of different MRI shots and consisted of nothing more then a fluid (containing an organic compound of Gadolinium a.k.a. Gd which is a rare-earth metal contrast material with paramagnetic properties) being injected into a vein in my arm while an MRI sequence was taken. Completely painless and without side effects. Oh, add in some high powered computing power too.
The superior cerebral veins (on the sides of my brain) drain upwards into the superior sagittal sinus which runs along the top mid-line from front to back. That splits into two lateral sinuses in the back of my skull which in turn flow into the sigmoid sinuses (the ski-jump shaped paths at about the level of my ears) and then on down into the internal jugular veins in either side of my neck. Note that the word 'sinus' as used here means a cavity full of blood, not the air filled cavity as is used elsewhere. It serves the same role as veins, but it doesn't even have the valves that veins often do.
The images can be processed together into a three dimensional representation of the veins. This representation can be tilted and rotated in various directions and a 3-d understanding of the blood flow can be obtained. This of course requires incredible computing power that usually accompanies the MRI devices. Viewing one is easier, have a look here
I have added Flickr notes to label the structures for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing. If you can't see them, click on the picture to make sure you are on its own page and then hover your mouse over it.