Liliequist's membrane is a fold of the arachnoid mater: study using sheet plastination and scanning electron microscopy

Neurosurgery. 2000 Oct;47(4):902-8; discussion 908-9. doi: 10.1097/00006123-200010000-00021.


Objective: The subarachnoid space consists of a number of distinct subarachnoid cisterns. They are separated from each other by trabecular walls, one of which is Liliequist's membrane. The aim of this study was to investigate the anatomic characteristics of Liliequist's membrane.

Methods: The study used a combined approach, consisting of the modified E12 sheet plastination method for 3 adult cadavers and gross anatomic dissection for 35 cadavers, 2 of which were further examined using scanning electron microscopy.

Results: The results from this study indicate that 1) Liliequist's membrane is an avascular fold of the arachnoid mater that lacks openings and spreads out laterally, being in direct continuity with the arachnoid mater covering the tentorium; 2) the carotid-chiasmatic walls, which separate the chiasmatic cistern and carotid cisterns and had been considered to be parts of Liliequist's membrane, are vascular and incomplete trabecular walls and should not be considered parts of Liliequist's membrane; and, 3) as a fold of the arachnoid mater, Liliequist's membrane is not directly attached to the temporal lobes and oculomotor nerves.

Conclusion: Liliequist's membrane is a double-layer fold of the arachnoid mater and has anatomic characteristics different from those of arachnoid trabecular walls.

MeSH terms

  • Arachnoid / surgery
  • Arachnoid / ultrastructure*
  • Cadaver
  • Carotid Arteries / ultrastructure
  • Dissection
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Optic Chiasm / blood supply
  • Optic Chiasm / ultrastructure
  • Plastics


  • Plastics