Hydrocephalus and Aqueductal Stenosis

  • Giuseppe Cinalli
  • Pietro Spennato
  • Emilio Cianciulli
  • Maria d’Armiento


The cerebral aqueduct was described by Vesalius in 1542 as a short tube “so that the animal spirit may flow continuously into the dorsal marrow” [32]. Actually, the aqueduct of Sylvius connects the third and fourth ventricle: it is a narrow, irregular channel, situated in the dorsal midbrain, with posterior commissure and lamina tecti behind, oculomotor and trochlear nerves nuclei, and medial longitudinal fasciculus and red nuclei in front. It forms a gentle concave curve to the base of the skull and is surrounded by the periaqueductal gray matter. In fixed brain specimens two areas of relative constriction have been found: one is at the level of the superior colliculus, the other at the level of the intercollicular sulcus; in cross section the lumen is highly changeable, probably owing to the influence of different nuclear masses or fiber tracts surrounding it at different levels. The lumen is usually triangular with the apex directed ventrally at the two constrictions and ovoid in the central dilated area, which has been referred to as the ampulla of the aqueduct or the ventricle of the midbrain [8].


Fourth Ventricle Obstructive Hydrocephalus Aqueductal Stenosis Shunt Malfunction Congenital Hydrocephalus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Cinalli
    • 1
  • Pietro Spennato
    • 2
  • Emilio Cianciulli
    • 3
  • Maria d’Armiento
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgerySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgerySecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric NeuroradiologySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Department of Biomorphological and Functional Sciences, Section of Pathology, Federico IIUniversity of NaplesItaly

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