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Paul Kim

Subarachnoid cisterns of the brain (Inferior view) (English)

Subarachnoid cisterns of the brain (Inferior view) (English)

Anterior to the medulla oblongata and pons of the brainstem are the premedullary and prepontine cisterns, which contain the confluence of the vertebral arteries that form the basilar artery. Laterally, the prepontine cistern is continuous with the cerebellopontine cistern while superiorly and laterally, the premedullary cistern is continuous with both the cerebellopontine and lateral cerebellomedullary cisterns, which collectively contain cranial nerves VII-XII. The interpeduncular cistern is located inferior to the mammillary bodies and anterior to the cerebral peduncles of the midbrain. The oculomotor nerve (CN III), basilar artery, posterior cerebral and superior cerebellar arteries pass through this cistern. The ambient cistern is formed of sheet-like extensions of the quadrigeminal cistern, which extend laterally around the midbrain and posterior to the thalami. A number of supratentorial cisterns are named according to the structures they surround such as the oculomotor, olfactory, chiasmatic and carotid cisterns. The bilateral cisterns of lateral cerebral fossa is formed as the arachnoid mater bridges the lateral sulcus just anterior to the temporal lobe and is therefore also known as the Sylvian cisterns. The cistern of lamina terminalis connects the interpeduncular cistern to the pericallosal cistern (previous image) and contains the anterior cerebral and anterior communicating arteries.
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