CSF flows from the fourth ventricle into the central canal of the spinal cord or into the cisterns of the subarachnoid space via three small foramina: the central foramen of Magendie and the two lateral foramina of Luschka.
The cerebral aqueduct and the foramina are very small and easily blocked, which would cause high pressure in the lateral ventricles and hydrocephalus.
Also known as the lateral aperture, an opening in each lateral extremity of the fourth ventricle of the human brain that provides a conduit for cerebrospinal fluid to flow from the brain's ventricular system into the subarachnoid space.
A clear, colorless bodily fluid produced in the choroid plexus of the brain that acts as a cushion or buffer for the cortex, providing a basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull.
In the late 1970s, CT scans of the ventricles revolutionized the study of mental disorders. Researchers found that on average, individuals with schizophrenia had enlarged ventricles compared to healthy subjects. This became the first evidence that mental disorders are biological in origin and led to a reinvigoration of the study of such conditions via modern scientific techniques.
ventricular system is a set of four
interconnected cavities (ventricles) in the brain and the
location of CSF production. This system is continuous with the central canal of the spinal
The system comprises four ventricles:
right and left lateral ventricles (the first and second ventricles)
The cavities of the
are called lateral ventricles or first and second ventricles. These two
ventricles open into the third ventricle by a common opening called
the foramen of Monro.
CSF is produced by modified ependymal cells of the choroid plexus found in all components of the ventricular system except for the cerebral aqueduct and the posterior and anterior horns of the lateral ventricles. The brain and spinal cord are covered by a series of
tough membranes called meninges,
which protect these organs from rubbing against the bones of the skull
and spine. The CSF within the
skull and spine is found between the pia mater
and the arachnoid and provides further cushioning. EndFra
CSF Flow Within Ventricles
CSF flows from the lateral ventricles via the foramina of
Monro into the third ventricle, and then into the fourth ventricle via the cerebral
aqueduct in the brainstem. From there, it passes into the central canal of the
spinal cord and into the cisterns of the subarachnoid space via three small
foramina: the central foramen of Magendie and the two lateral foramina of
Luschka. The fluid then flows around the superior sagittal sinus
to be reabsorbed via the arachnoid villi
into the venous system.
CSF within the spinal cord can flow all the way down to the lumbar cistern at
the end of the cord around the cauda equina.
Diseases of the ventricular system include abnormal
enlargement (hydrocephalus) and inflammation
of the CSF spaces (meningitis, ventriculitis) caused by infection
or introduction of blood
following trauma or hemorrhage. The aqueduct between the third and fourth ventricles
is very small, as are the foramina. This means they can be easily
blocked, causing high pressure in the lateral ventricles. This is a common
cause of hydrocephalus (known colloquially as "water on the brain"),
an extremely serious condition due to the damage caused by the
pressure as well as the nature of the block (e.g., a tumor or inflammatory swelling).
Embryonic Development of the Ventricles
The structures of the ventricular
system are embryologically derived from the center of the neural tube
(the neural canal). As the future brain stem aspect of the
primitive neural tube develops, the neural canal expands dorsally and
laterally, creating the fourth ventricle. The cerebral aqueduct is
formed from the part of the neural canal that does not expand and
remains the same at the level of the midbrain superior to the fourth ventricle. The fourth ventricle narrows
at the obex,
where the fourth ventricle narrows to become the central canal
in the caudal medulla.