Human cranial CSF volumes measured by MRI: sex and age influences

Magn Reson Imaging. 1987;5(6):465-8. doi: 10.1016/0730-725x(87)90380-8.


Accurate measurements of CSF volumes would assist in the diagnosis of several important neurological conditions. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) we have devised a method to measure both total intracranial CSF volume and ventricular volume. This initial study, in normal humans, provides an answer to two longstanding questions: first, do these volumes differ between the sexes; second, do both total and ventricular CSF volumes increase with normal aging? We found that the total cranial CSF volume and skull size of males were significantly greater than those of females, but that there was not a statistically significant difference between the ventricular volumes of the sexes. Total cranial CSF volume increased steeply with age in both sexes but although there was an increase in ventricular volume with age in males, no significant increase with age could be demonstrated in females.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Characteristics*