Ventricular volume regulation: a mathematical model and computer simulation

Pediatr Neurosci. 1988;14(2):77-84. doi: 10.1159/000120367.


A mathematical model of ventricular volume regulation based on fluid mechanical principles has been constructed using a systems engineering approach. The parameters used in the model are based on clinical observation, laboratory investigation, and presumptions that will be tested later. The model was constructed to be the basis of a computer simulation. Using the computer simulation, information obtained from the literature and laboratory hypotheses regarding pathophysiology, several enigmatic conditions were tested. The model predicted that over-production of cerebrospinal fluid, as in the case of choroid plexus papilloma, could by itself lead to distention of the ventricular system. In simulating pseudotumor cerebri, if cerebrospinal fluid absorption at the arachnoid villi is impaired and the brain itself is rendered incompressible by swelling, intracranial pressure rises and ventricular volume diminishes. Conversely, in normal-pressure hydrocephalus, if cerebrospinal fluid flow is restricted between the spinal and cortical subarachnoid spaces and the brain is made more compressible, the ventricular volume increases with minimal increases in intracranial pressure. This mathematical model and its associated computer simulation is useful in predicting the behavior of the volume of the cerebral ventricles to a variety of pathological phenomena.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Dogs
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology
  • Models, Biological*