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Other Terms: Pia mater of neuraxis, Pie-mère
Pia Mater - Brain
The pia mater of the brain is the innermost of the three membranes that cover it. It sends processes into all the fissures of the cerebrum and between most of the laminae of the cerebellum. It is the vascular membrane of the brain. It carries the minute branches of the two internal carotids and the two vertebral arteries. It also returns the blood to the heart. These vessels are associated by delicate connective tissue fibers.
Pia Mater - Spinal Cord
The spinal pia mater is a vascular membrane, thicker and denser than that of the brain. It is closely adherent to the cord and sends vertical partitions, septa, into the anterior and posterior median fissures. Along the anterior median line of the cord, the pia is thickened into a glistening band, the linea splendens, which extends the entire length of the cord. It then ends by merging with the filum terminale. The pia mater is supported at the sides by two lateral bands, the ligamenta denticulata, fibrous bands attached to the median lateral aspect of the pia from the level of the foramen magnum to the level of the first lumbar vertebra, midway between the anterior and posterior nerve roots. From this attachment each ligament extends laterally, and is attached to the dura mater by a number of denticulations, which pass laterally in the interval between the anterior and posterior roots of the spinal nerves. These processes push the arachnoid before them. It is seen from this arrangement that the ligamenta denticulata divide the subarachnoid space into two compartments. The anterior of these compartments contains the anterior roots and the posterior, the posterior roots of the spinal nerves. The posterior compartment is again divided by a third, or posterior, septum. The ligamenta denticulata swing the cord in the center of the dural sac. From the conus medullaris the pia mater is continued downward as the fibrous portion of the slender thread, the filum terminale, as far as the base of the coccyx, to the periosteum of which it is attached. The filum terminale contains very little nervous matter, and can be distinguished from the nerves of the cauda equina, which surround it, by its glistening white appearance.