Lateral apertures (of Luschka)

Last revised by Doaa Faris Jabaz on 22 Dec 2022

The lateral apertures (of Luschka) (also known as the foramina of Luschka) are two of the foramina in the ventricular system and link the fourth ventricle to the cerebellopontine cistern. Together with the median aperture (of Magendie) they comprise two of the three sites that CSF can leave the fourth ventricle and enter the subarachnoid space.

They are located at the lateral-most aspect of the fourth ventricle and drain into the subarachnoid space at the cerebellopontine angle cistern immediately posterior to the root of the glossopharyngeal (IX) nerve.

Hubert von Luschka (1820-1875) was a German anatomist active in the second half of the nineteenth century who was one of the first anatomists to research normal, as well as diseased, cadavers. He described his lateral apertures in a paper published in 1855. He also confirmed the presence of a median aperture, writing that it was the French physician, François Magendie (1783-1855), who deserved the credit for first describing it 4. Luschka himself has lent his name to quite an impressive range of structures, at least 23 by one count 3!

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2
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  • Figure 3: diagram of ventricular system
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