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It is bounded by arachnoid membranes which separate it from surrounding cisterns.
- superiorly the mesencephalic leaf of the membrane of Liliequist, above which is the interpeduncular cistern
- inferiorly the medial pontomedullary membrane, below which is the premedullary cistern
- laterally the anterior pontine membranes, lateral to each are the cerebellopontine cisterns through which most CSF enters the prepontine cistern
A number of vessels and a cranial nerve course through this cistern and the content is somewhat variably described depending on how the borders of the cistern are defined. Using the arachnoid membranes as landmarks result in the least structures, limited to merely the basilar artery, some of its branches (pontine perforators and the origin of the AICA) and the transverse pontine veins 6.
The abducens nerve (CN VI), often cited as traversing the prepontine cistern is more accurately considered coursing in the anterior pontine membrane and thus, not strictly speaking within the cistern but rather in its wall 6.
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