Medial surface of left cerebral hemisphere. Uncus is shown in orange.
Human brain inferior-medial view (Uncus is #5)
The term comes from the Latin word uncus which means hook and it was coined by Felix Vicq d’Azyr (1748–1794).
- Seizures, often preceded by hallucinations of disagreeable odors, often originate in the uncus.
- In situations of tumor, hemorrhage, or edema, increased pressure within the cranial cavity, especially if the mass is in the middle fossa, can push the uncus over the tentorial notch against the brainstem and its corresponding cranial nerves and can result in a brain herniation. If the uncus becomes herniated the structure lying just medial to it, cranial nerve III, can become compressed. This causes problems associated with a non-functional or problematic CN III - the pupil on the ipsilateral side fails to constrict to light and absence of medial/superior movement of the orbit, resulting in a fixed, dilated pupil and an eye with a characteristic "down and out" position due to dominance of the abducens and trochlear nerves. Further pressure on the midbrain results in progressive lethargy, coma and death due to compression of the mesencephalic reticular activating system. Brainstem damage is typically ipsilateral to the herniation, although the contralateral cerebral peduncle may be pushed against the tentorial notch, resulting in a characteristic indentation known as Kernohan's notch and ipsilateral hemiparesis, since fibers running in the cerebral peduncle decussate (cross over) in the lower medulla to control muscle groups on the opposite side of the body.
The landmark that helps you find the amygdala on a coronal section of the brain.
- Position of uncus (red)
- Human brain, medial view. (Uncus shown in blue)
- Human brain, inferior view. (Uncus shown in blue)
- Uncus (green text)
- Basal view of a human brain
- Scheme of rhinencephalon. (Uncus labeled at bottom right.)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Uncus.|
- Uncus in the Brede Database at the Technical University of Denmark