Foramen of Magendie

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 9 Dec 2022

The foramen of Magendie, also known as median aperture, is one of the foramina in the ventricular system and links the fourth ventricle and the cisterna magna. It is one of the three sites that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can leave the fourth ventricle and enter the subarachnoid space. The two other openings of the fourth ventricle are termed the foramina of Luschka or lateral apertures, one of each on left and right sides.

The foramen of Magendie is located in the midline in the inferior aspect of the roof of the fourth ventricle, caudal to the nodule of the cerebellum.

History and etymology

François Magendie (1783-1855), a French physician and anatomist, described his eponymous aperture in a paper published in 1842 following numerous experiments on CSF flow in cadavers; although like many eponyms it was only named for him years later 3.

Related pathology

  • Blake pouch cyst is caused by a failure of regression of Blake pouch secondary to the non-perforation of the foramen of Magendie 2

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