Gadolinium enhancement of cranial nerves: Implications for interstitial fluid drainage from brainstem into cranial nerves in humans

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Nov 9;118(45):e2106331118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2106331118.

Abstract

Drainage of interstitial fluid and solutes from the brainstem has not been well studied. To map one drainage pathway in the human brainstem, we took advantage of the focal blood-brain barrier disruption occurring in a multiple sclerosis brainstem lesion, coupled with intravenous injection of gadolinium, which simulates an intraparenchymal injection of gadolinium tracer within the restricted confines of this small brain region. Using high-resolution MRI, we show how it is possible for interstitial fluid to drain into the adjacent trigeminal and oculomotor nerves, in keeping with a pathway of communication between the extracellular spaces of the brainstem and cranial nerve parenchyma.

Keywords: brain; drainage; interstitial fluid.