Cerebrospinal Fluid

A clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is found in the cavities of the central nervous system. Cerebrospinal fluid is found in the ventricles of the brain, the subarachnoid space, and the central canal of the spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid and its associated structures make up the circulatory system for the CNS.

a. Choroid Plexuses. Choroid plexuses are special collections of arterial capillaries found in the roofs of the third and fourth ventricles of the brain. The choroid plexuses continuously produce CSF from the plasma of the blood.

b. Path of the Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow. Blood flows through the arterial capillaries of the choroid plexuses. As the choroid plexuses produce CSF, it flows into all four ventricles. Cerebrospinal fluid from the lateral ventricles flows into the third ventricle, through the cerebral aqueduct then into the fourth ventricle. By passing through three small holes in the roof of the fourth ventricle, CSF enters the subarachnoid space. From the subarachnoid space, the CSF is transported through the arachnoid villi (granulations) into the venous sinuses. Thus, the CSF is formed from arterial blood and returned to the venous blood.

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