Purpose: To detect oscillations of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow related to the heartbeat and frequencies lower than 0.6 Hz and to compare these oscillations of CSF and blood flow in cerebral vessels by using echo planar imaging in real time mode. The existence of such waves has been well known but has not yet been shown by MRI.
Materials and methods: In a slice perpendicular to the aqueduct, CSF flow as well as CBF, could be determined in sagittal sinus, basilar artery, and capillary vessels. After Fourier analysis, four frequency bands were assigned.
Results: In the very high-frequency (heart rate) range, the integrals under the CSF curves were more closely related to arterial CBF than to changes in the sinus. Also, in the high-frequency (respiration rate), low-frequency (0.05-0.15 Hz), and very-low-frequency (0.008-0.05 Hz) ranges, the integrals under the CSF curves corresponded with arterial and capillary CBF.
Conclusion: Slow and fast oscillations in CSF flow are detectable in healthy persons with a proportional allotment to arterial and capillary CBF.