Rationale and objectives: Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we investigated cerebral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows in patients with communicating hydrocephalus (CH) and in healthy volunteers to determine the contribution of CSF flow to brain pressure regulation in CH patients.
Methods: Cine phase-contrast MRI data from 16 healthy volunteers and 12 patients with CH characterized by hyperdynamic aqueductal CSF flow were analyzed using in-house image-processing software that automatically measured flow curves. Amplitude and temporal CSF and blood flow parameters were compared in the 2 groups.
Results: Jugular peak flow occurred significantly earlier (P < 0.01) in the CH patients than in the healthy volunteers. Cervical CSF oscillations were not significantly different between the 2 groups.
Conclusion: Venous vessel compression and/or changes in intracranial subarachnoid CSF flow produce an increase in ventricular CSF flush that compensates for vascular brain expansion in patients with CH.