The sink action of cerebrospinal fluid volume flow. Effect on brain water content

Arch Neurol. 1976 May;33(5):339-44. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1976.00500050025005.


Effects of changes in serum osmolarity on volume flow of fluid into the cerebral ventricles of cats were measured by ventriculocisternal perfusion with mock cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), mock CSF containing acetazolamide, or a 30 mOsm/liter sucrose solution. Serum osmolarity was altered by intravenous infusion of a sucrose solution ranging between 10 and 650 mOsm/liter changing volume flow. For all perfusion fluids, regression lines relating volume flow to infused solution osmolarity were parallel. After infusion of a 10 mOsm/liter solution, brain water content increased. One hour after infusion, volume flow returned to normal, although serum was still hypotonic. Gray matter water content was still elevated; white matter returned to normal. The results suggest that the source of increased volume flow is the brain, and that the CSF acts as a sink, limiting excess water accumulation during water intoxication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood
  • Body Water / physiology*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Osmolar Concentration