Background: The presence of abnormal anatomy and flow in neck veins has been recently linked to neurological diseases. The precise impact of extra-cranial abnormalities such as stenoses remains unexplored.
Methods: Pressure and velocity fields in the full cardiovascular system are computed by means of a global mathematical model that accounts for the relationship between pulsating cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure.
Results: Our model predicts that extra-cranial strictures cause increased pressure in the cerebral venous system. Specifically, there is a predicted pressure increase of about 10% in patients with a 90% stenoses. Pressure increases are related to significant flow redistribution with flow reduction of up to 70% in stenosed vessels and consequent flow increase in collateral pathways.
Conclusions: Extra-cranial venous strictures can lead to pressure increases in intra-cranial veins of up to 1.3 mmHg, despite the shielding role of the Starling resistor. The long-term clinical implications of the predicted pressure changes are unclear.
Keywords: CCSVI; MRI-derived patient-specific venous network; cerebral venous hypertension; global mathematical model; human circulation.
© The Author(s) 2015.