Fetal cisterna magna septa: A normal anatomic finding

Randy K. Knutzon, John P McGahan, M. Shahriar Salamat, William E. Brant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A linear hyperechoic structure in the cisterna magna, previously described as the straight sinus, was investigated during routine obstetric ultrasound (US) examination. One hundred three fetal US examinations were performed to determine the prevalence and appearance of this finding. Also, US water-bath examination of 18 fixed postmortem specimens and fetuses was performed, and results were correlated with those of gross and microscopic examination of the fetal brain. The structure was identified in 95 (92%) prenatal examinations between 15 and 38 menstrual weeks. It was located posteriorly between the cerebellar hemispheres in the cisterna magna. In those 95 cases in which it was identified, it appeared as a single echogenic line in 31 cases (33%), as two echogenic lines in 47 (49%), or as three or more lines in 17 (18%). When two echogenic lines were identified, they appeared "cystlike" in 17 (18%) of the 95 examinations. Correlation of the gross and histologic findings demonstrated these lines to represent normal subarachnoid septa rather than the straight sinus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-801
Number of pages3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991


  • Brain, US studies, 153.1298
  • Fetus, abnormalities, 856.87
  • Fetus, central nervous system, 856.874
  • Fetus, US studies, 856.1298

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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