The arterial and venous structures of the central skull base region form complex anatomical relationships with each other and with adjacent osseous and neural structures. Vascular structures including the cavernous sinuses and internal carotid arteries can be displaced, encased, or invaded by neoplastic, inflammatory, or infectious lesions of the central skull base. Consequently, the vascular structures have a unique role in determining the imaging appearance, clinical significance, and therapeutic options of lesions occurring in the central skull base. This article briefly reviews the basic anatomy of the cavernous sinus and the relationship of the internal carotid artery to the cavernous sinus and central skull base. The major imaging features of some common vascular lesions, including skull base aneurysm, carotid-cavernous fistula, and cavernous sinus thrombosis are presented. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.