Interthalamic adhesion

Last revised by Dr Roland Zac White on 04 Feb 2021

The interthalamic adhesion (ITA) or massa intermedia is a small variably present connection between the medial apposing surfaces of the two thalami that passes through the third ventricle. It is not a commissure as once thought as it does not contain neurons; instead, it is composed of glial tissue. Its functional significance is currently unknown 5.

If a cast is made of the ventricular system when the adhesion is present, it will create a hole (fenestration or window) in the center of the third ventricle.

The reported presence of the adhesion varies in the literature, range from 75% 4 to 96% 5. It has been reported to be more commonly present in females than males but this is currently being disputed. Interestingly Damie et al found that when present, the adhesion is larger in females and this correlates with increased attention 5.

Related pathology

It is larger in patients with Chiari II malformations 3

It is suggested aberrations of the massa intermedia are associated with6

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: ventricle anatomy
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  • Case 1: breast cancer met in the interthalamic adhesion
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