Cavum vergae

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 6 Mar 2024

The cavum vergae (CV), along with the cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) that lies immediately anterior to it, is a persistence of the embryological fluid-filled space between the leaflets of the septum pellucidum and is a common anatomical variant

The cavum vergae has also been referred to as the 6th ventricle 3 although this usage has fallen out of favor, both because of the lack of any direct communication between the cavum vergae and the ventricular system proper and the modern vogue to standardize nomenclature.

The cavum vergae is the posterior extension of the cavum septum pellucidum, posterior to the anterior columns of the fornix, lying anterior to the splenium of the corpus callosum, but it may exist independently 1-3

The cavum vergae has important immediate anatomical relations 3:

  • anteriorly: cavum septum pellucidum

  • posteriorly: splenium of the corpus callosum

  • superiorly: body of the corpus callosum

  • inferiorly: transverse part of fornix (body and forniceal commissure)

The septa of the cavum septum pellucidum and vergae begin to fuse from posterior to anterior from approximately 24 weeks gestation. By term, the cavum vergae is closed in 97% of babies, whereas the cavum septum pellucidum persists in most at this stage 4. Cavum septum pellucidum closure to form a single septum pellucidum occurs by 6 months of age in 85% of cases but may persist to adulthood in 15% 3.  Because of this ordered obliteration, a cavum septum pellucidum almost always accompanies a cavum vergae and is referred to as cavum septum pellucidum et vergae 1,2.

Although perhaps not realized by many, cavum vergae is actually an eponym named after a (forgotten) Italian anatomist and psychiatrist Andrea Verga (1811-1895) 6,7, and therefore cavum Vergae would be grammatically more correct.

Verga introduced several neologisms in his pioneering writings on phobias, including claustrophobia and acrophobia (fear of heights); the latter being an affliction that he himself seriously suffered from. The superior frontoparietal fissure was previously commonly called Verga's fissure after his first description of it 7.

As well as an eminent physician, he also played a prominent role in politics in his later life including as a Senator in the Kingdom of Italy with various honors bestowed on him including a Commander of the Brazilian Order of the Rose and a street named after him in his home town of Treviglio 6,7

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