After completing “The Meninges” section, you will be able:

  • To explain the purpose of the meninges
  • To describe each layer of the meninges
  • To demonstrate the order of the maters
  • To apply knowledge to evaluate the spaces between the maters
  • To validate knowledge by completing the quiz

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What are the meninges?

The meninges consist of three membranous connective tissue that enclose the brain: pia mater, arachnoid mater and dura mater.

Purpose of the meninges

Protect the brain



Form the supporting framework for arteries, veins and venous sinuses

Enclose a fluid-filled (CSF) cavity, the sub-arachnoid space, which is vital to the normal function of the brain.

3 Meninges

* Mnemonic Alert: PAD (deep to superficial). The meninges form a PAD around the brain *

PPia: thin vascular layer containing network of fine blood vessels.

AArachnoid: intermediate layer, with the sub-arachnoid space deep to the arachnoid mater.

DDura: thick, tough fibrous outer layer.

Spaces between maters

The spaces between the maters are areas where blood collection from trauma can occur:

  • Extradural/epidural space = unnatural space developed between the skull/cranium and dura mater. Blood from a torn middle meningeal artery pushes the periosteum away from the cranium.
  • Subdural space = unnatural space developed between the dura and arachnoid mater.
  • Subarachnoid space = natural space between arachnoid and pia mater containing a web-like framework of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), trabecular cells, arteries and veins.


Moore K, Dalley A, Agur A. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Image References

Meninges.   Protect the brain.   Form a supporting network [..].    Enclose a fluid filled (CSF) [..].   Spaces between maters.