Medical Definition of Brain ventricle

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Brain ventricle: One of the communicating cavities within the brain. There are four ventricles: two lateral ventricles, the third ventricle, and the fourth ventricle. The lateral ventricles are in the cerebral hemispheres. Each lateral ventricle consists of a triangular central body and four horns. The lateral ventricles communicate with the third ventricle through the interventricular foramen (opening). The third ventricle is a median (midline) cavity in the brain, bounded by the thalamus and hypothalamus on either side. In front, the third ventricle communicates with the lateral ventricles, and in back it communicates with the aqueduct of the midbrain (the aqueduct of Sylvius). The fourth ventricle is the most inferior of the four ventricles of the brain. It extends from the aqueduct of the midbrain to the central canal of the upper end of the spinal cord, with which it communicates by the two foramina (openings) of Luschka and the foramen of Magendie. The ventricles are filled with cerebrospinal fluid, which is formed by structures, called choroid plexuses, that are located in the walls and roofs of the ventricles.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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