Third ventricle

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Brain: Third ventricle
Scheme showing relations of the ventricles to the surface of the brain.
Latin ventriculus tertius cerebri
Gray's p.813
NeuroNames hier-429
NeuroLex ID birnlex_714

The third ventricle (ventriculus tertius) is one of four connected fluid-filled cavities comprising the ventricular system within the human brain. It is a median cleft in the diencephalon between the two thalami, and is filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

It is in the midline, between the left and right lateral ventricles. Running through the third ventricle is the Interthalamic adhesion, which contains thalamic neurons and fibers that may connect the two thalami.


It communicates with the lateral ventricles anteriorly by the interventricular foramina (of Monro).

It communicates with the fourth ventricle posteriorly by the cerebral aqueduct (of Sylvius).


The third ventricle, similarly to other parts of the ventricular system of the brain, develop from the central canal of the neural tube. Specifically, the third ventricle originates from the portion of the tube that is present in the developing prosencephalon, and subsequently in the developing diencephalon.[1]


Third ventricle

It is bounded by the thalamus and hypothalamus on both the left and right sides. The lamina terminalis forms the anterior wall of the third ventricle. The floor of the third ventricle can be opened between the mamillary bodies and the pituitary gland, this is called an endoscopic third ventriculostomy.


There are two protrusions on the anterior aspect of the third ventricle:

Additionally, there are two protrusions on the posterior aspect, above the cerebral aqueduct:

In casts of the ventricular system, a small 'hole' may be seen in the body of the third ventricle. This is formed where the two thalami are joined together at the interthalamic adhesion (not seen in all people).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Le, Tao; Bhushan, Vikas; Vasan, Neil (2010). First Aid for the USMLE Step 1: 2010 20th Anniversary Edition. USA: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-07-163340-6. 

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