Subarachnoid cisterns

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The subarachnoid cisterns are discrete named spaces within the subarachnoid space where the pia mater and arachnoid membrane are not in close approximation. The subarachnoid tissue is not as abundant here as in the normal subarachnoid space and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) gathers to form pools or cisterns (Latin: "box"). As they are interconnected, the patency is essential for CSF circulation. Being within the subarachnoid space, the cisterns may have vessels and/or cranial nerves passing through them.

The named subarachnoid cisterns are:

Loss of one or more of the cisterns is a sign of increased intracranial pressure. Loss of symmetry of one or more of the cisterns may be a sign of midline shift.

Anatomy: Brain
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Article information

rID: 5859
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Basal CSF cisterns

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: subarachnoid cisterns
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