A critical appraisal of Monro's erroneous description of the cerebral interventricular foramina: Age-related magnetic resonance imaging spatial morphometry and a proposed new terminology.
Anatomic connections between the cerebral lateral and third ventricles have been mischaracterized since Monro's original erroneous description of his eponymous foramina (FoMs) as being only one T-shaped passage. Accurate knowledge of the in vivo three-dimensional (3D) configuration of FoM has important clinical neuroendoscopic, neurosurgical, and neuroimaging implications. We retrospectively analyzed volumetric high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging of 100 normal individuals to characterize the normal spatial anatomy and morphometry for each FoM. We measured the true anatomical 3D angulations of FoMs relative to standard neuroimaging orthogonal planes, and their minimum width, depth, and distance between the medial borders of bilateral FoMs. The right and left FoMs were separate, distinct, and in a V-shaped configuration. Each FoM was a round, oval, or crescent-shaped canal-like passage with well-defined borders formed by the semicircular concavity of the ipsilateral forniceal column. The plane of FoM was angled on average 56.8° ± 9.1° superiorly from the axial plane, 22.5° ± 10.7° laterally, and 37.0° ± 6.9° anteriorly from the midsagittal plane; all these angles changing significantly with increasing age. The mean narrowest diameter of FoM was 2.8 ± 1.2 mm, and its depth was 2.5 ± 0.2 mm. Thus, the true size and orientation of FoM differs from that depicted on standard neuroimaging. Notably, in young subjects, FoM has a diameter smaller than its depth, a configuration akin to a short, small canal. We propose that the eponym "Monro" no longer be associated with this structure, and the term "foramen" be abandoned. Instead, FoM should be more appropriately renamed as the "interventricular canaliculus," or IVC, for short.