BACKGROUND: Reports of a duplicated or fenestrated inferior petrosal sinus (IPS) are scarce or not found in the literature, respectively. To our knowledge, there are no cadaveric reports of the latter.METHODS: This study used 20 adult cadaveric heads (40 sides). After removal of the brain, the IPS was dissected using a surgical microscope. Specimens with duplication or fenestration of the IPS anywhere along its course were photographed and measured.RESULTS: On 2 (5%) left sides, a fenestration was identified in the IPS. One of these was found to have 2 fenestrations. The mean length and width of the 3 fenestrations were 2.3 mm and 0.95 mm, respectively. The 3 fenestrations were located at the middle to terminal parts of the IPS. On 2 (5%) left sides and 1 (2.5%) right side, the IPS was duplicated over a part of its course. The mean length and width of the duplicated parts of the IPS were 25.9 mm and 3.1 mm, respectively. No statistical significance was found for fenestrations or duplications comparing males versus females, but fenestrations were statistically significant (P < 0.05) for occurring on left sides.CONCLUSIONS: Unfamiliarity with a duplicated or fenestrated IPS could increase risk of iatrogenic injury and misinterpretation of imaging. Further radiological imaging studies are required to substantiate more accurately the mechanisms by which a duplicated or fenestrated IPS affects clinical outcomes. Nonetheless, anatomical awareness of such lesser known variations of the IPS is crucial for promoting safe and effective interventional approaches at the skull base.