Author: Onome Okpe•Reviewer: Jerome GoffinLast reviewed: June 17, 2021Reading time: 8 minutes

Fourth ventricle (lateral-left view)

The fourth ventricle is just one of the interconnected fluid-filled cavities in ~ the human brain. Over there are 4 of these cavities in the brain, 3 of i beg your pardon are located within the cerebrum (lateral ventricles and the 3rd ventricle). These cavities and also their content constitute the ventricular system of the brain.

You are watching: The fourth ventricle of the brain lies adjacent to the

The fourth ventricle lies posterior/dorsal to the pons and medulla (of the brainstem) and also anterior/ventral to the cerebellum. It extends native the cerebral aqueduct (aqueduct that Sylvius) superiorly, prolonging inferiorly right into the central canal that brainstem and spinal cord. Its surface ar is inside wall by an epithelial layer dubbed the ependyma, and is bathed with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

The 4th ventricle has an anterior/ventral floor through a characteristics diamond shape, called the rhomboid fossa, and a posterior/dorsal tent-shaped roof. CSF produced and/or flowing right into the fourth ventricle can departure to the subarachnoid space through lateral apertures and also a single median aperture situated in the inferiorportion of the roof.

Key facts about the 4th ventricle
WallsLateral wall surfaces - created by cerebellar pedunclesRoof - formed by cerebellar peduncles, superior and inferior medullary velumFloor - developed by rhomboid fossa
FeaturesLateral apertures of LuschkaMedian aperture that Magendie
FunctionsProduction the cerebrospinal liquid (CSF) through choroid plexusCirculation of CSF
Clinical relationsHydrocephalus, medulloblastoma

This short article will talk about the anatomy and duty of the 4th ventricle.

Clinical notes
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The lateral walls that the 4th ventricle are formed by the cerebellar peduncles. The superior component of these wall surfaces is developed by the premium cerebellar peduncle. The inferior part is formed by the inferior cerebellar peduncle and by the gracile and also cuneate tubercles of the brainstem.

It has two major extensions, known as the lateral recesses, one on either next of the midline. These recesses extend laterally between the worse cerebellar peduncle and the peduncle of the flocculus of the cerebellum, come open into the subarachnoid room as the lateral apertures (foramina the Luschka).


The roof that the 4th ventricle has presents a \"tent-like\" apex at the intersection that it\"s superior and inferior parts. This apex, also known as the fastigium, extends right into the white core of the cerebellum.

The superior part of the roof is created by the premium cerebellar peduncles and the remarkable medullary velum (thin sheet of white matter). The inferior part of the roof is do of non-nervous tissue, the inferior medullary velum. However, like other parts that the ventricle, the is lined by a membrane consisting of ependyma and also a dual fold the pia mater i beg your pardon constitutes the tela choroidea of the 4th ventricle. Laterally on every side that the midline, this membrane extends and joins the inferior cerebellar peduncles. The lower part of the membrane has a huge aperture, the foramen the Magendie. This is the median aperture of the 4th ventricle, v which the whole ventricular system communicates.

Ventricles that the brain


The cavity or fossa of the 4th ventricle communicates with the third ventricle superiorly together a continuation of the cerebral aqueduct. The inferior section of the cavity is known as the obex, and extends into the central canal of the brainstem, which consequently runs v the vertebral column. The cavity likewise communicates through the subarachnoid room through the three apertures discussed above.


The floor of the fourth ventricle is additionally referred to together the rhomboid fossa since of its shape. That is divisible into a right and left fifty percent by the posterior median sulcus, and into a superior and also inferior triangle by the striae medullares.


The upper triangular part is created by the posterior surface ar of the pons. The intermediary part is lengthy laterally over the inferior cerebellar peduncle together the floor of the lateral recess. Its surface is significant by the visibility of breakable bundles that transversely to run fibres that constitute the striae medullares.The lowest part the the floor the the 4th ventricle is described as the calamus scriptorius. Each inferolateral margin of the floor is significant by a small white ridge called taenia. The right and also left taeniae meet at the worse apex the the floor to form a small fold referred to as the obex.

Are you conscious of the importance of energetic recall in finding out anatomy? Make certain you\"re putting it into practice if learning around the fourth ventricle!

For ease of description of the floor of the fourth ventricle, the median sulcus is offered as a major feature. Top top either next of this sulcus lies a longitudinal elevation referred to as the medial eminence. This eminence is restricted laterally by the sulcus. The area is referred to as the vestibular area and also houses the vestibular nuclei. Hence the vestibular area lies partly in the pons and partly in the medulla.

The uppermost part of the sulcus limitans overlies an area dubbed the locus coeruleus, deep to which over there is a nucleus dubbed the cell core coeruleus extending into the pontine tegmentum . Lower down the sulcus limitans is a depression referred to as the premium fovea. In ~ the level the this depression, the mean eminence mirrors a swelling called the facial colliculus.

Within the medullary part of the floor, the sulcus limitans is significant by a depression, the worse fovea. Worse to this inferior fovea is an slope sulcus running in the direction of the midline and also dividing the medial eminence into two triangles dubbed the hypoglossal and vagal triangles (or the hypoglossal and vagal trigones). The hypoglossal triangle lies medial and the vagal, lateral. This triangles home the hypoglossal and vagal nuclei respectively. The vagal triangle specifies an area v the gracile tubercle referred to as the area postrema.

For much more details about the brain ventricles and flow that CSF, take it a look at below:

Ventricles of the brain explore study unit

Tela choroidea and choroid plexuses

Choroid plexus of the 4th ventricle (sagittal view)

The tela choroidea and also choroid plexus of the 4th ventricle are various other notable features of the 4th ventricle. The tela choroidea is consisted of of two layers of pia mater. The choroid plexus is a very vascular structure, and also is similar in structure to those that the lateral and third ventricles. That lies within the folds of pia mater creating the tela choroidea.

These structures are responsible for the manufacturing of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which has actually several roles:

fills the subarachnoid space and ventriclesplays a protective function to the brainsupplies nutrient to the brainremoves waste products from the brain, i m sorry are absorbed by the arachnoid villi.

Clinical notes


Hydrocephalus is just one of the conditions that can an outcome from blockage the the median and lateral apertures. In Arnold Chiari malformation (Type II Chiari malformation), the medulla and also the tonsils the the cerebellum pertained to lie in the vertebral canal by descending with the foramen magnum. The median and also lateral apertures space blocked through this condition leading to obstruction the CSF flow. This causes a type of hydrocephalus referred to as internal hydrocephalus. Chiari II can likewise present v syringomyelia because of the development of CSF-filled cyst or syrinx.


Medulloblastoma is the most typical malignant mind tumour in children, which occurs in the cerebellum and also can because of this impinge top top the roof of the 4th ventricle. The area postrema of the caudal an ar of the fourth ventricle is also of clinical significance since of its function in the regulate of vomiting.



S. Standring: Gray’s Anatomy – The Anatomical basis of Clinical Practice, 40th edition, (2008), p. 237, 240 – 244.S. Vishram: Text book of Clinical Neuroanatomy, 2nd edition, (2010) p.120 – 123.


Choroid plexus the the fourth ventricle (sagittal view) - Paul KimVentricles of the mind - Paul Kim

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