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Medical Term:

fourth ventricle


Definition: a cavity of irregular tentlike shape extending from the obex rostralward to its communication with the sylvian aqueduct, enclosed between the cerebellum posteriorly and the rhombencephalic tegmentum anteriorly, with a rhomboidal floor (rhomboid fossa) and a tentlike roof; in its caudal part it is formed by the tela choroidea and the posterior medullary velum, in its middle part by the white matter of the cerebellum, and in its narrowing rostral part (recessus superior) by the anterior medullary velum. The fourth ventricle reaches its greatest width at the pontomedullary transition, where it expands laterally behind the cerebellar peduncles into the spoutlike lateral recess, and its greatest height at the fastigial recess, which reaches up into the cerebellar white matter. Direct communication of the brain's ventricle system and the subarachnoid space is established at the level of the fourth ventricle by a median opening in the tela choroidea, the medial aperture of the foramen of Magendie, which opens into the cerebellomedullary cistern, and on both sides by the lateral aperture or foramen of Luschka, which connects the lateral recess with the lateral cerebellomedullary cistern.

Synonym(s): ventriculus quartusTA, ventricle of rhombencephalon

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.