Cerebrospinal fluid flow. II. Physiology of respiration-related pulsations

Neuroradiology. 1992;35(1):10-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00588271.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in the cerebral aqueduct and spinal canal was analysed using real-time magnetic resonance imaging measurement techniques. Respiration-induced rhythmic modulation of the cardiac-related oscillating CSF pulsation in the cerebral aqueduct and spinal canal was found. Deep inspiration was immediately followed by a marked increase in downward CSF flow in the cervical spinal canal, whereas a delay of about two heart beats was seen before downward flow from the third to the fourth ventricle increased. This pattern was also detected during yawning and was followed by a marked increase of blood flow in the internal jugular vein.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Aqueduct / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Inhalation / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Pulsatile Flow
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Rheology
  • Spinal Canal / anatomy & histology
  • Subarachnoid Space / anatomy & histology