Clinical observations on the relationship between cerebrospinal fluid pulse pressure and intracranial pressure

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1986;79(1):13-29. doi: 10.1007/BF01403461.


A method is described for monitoring the relationship between CSF pulse pressure and ICP in clinical patients. Highly significant linear relationships were found during 65 continuous ICP recordings in 58 patients. The slope value of this relationship showed a positive correlation with the elastance coefficient, a volume-pressure parameter assessed by bolus injection. However, the correlation was too weak to allow for a confident prediction of the elastance coefficient on the basis of CSF pulse pressure in the individual patient. This was attributed to the variable magnitude of the volume change underlying the CSF pulse pressure: the pulsatile variation in cerebral blood volume. This quantity was calculated on the basis of a mathematical model from the slope value and the elastance coefficient and was found to vary between 0.36 and 4.38 ml. During plateau waves a disproportionate increase in pulse pressure with the ICP was observed in contrast with a relative decrease in intracranial elastance. This phenomenon was ascribed to an increase in the pulsatile variation in cerebral blood volume. It is concluded that, under certain conditions, the intracranial volume-pressure relationship can be continuously monitored by means of CSF pulse pressure analysis. The findings during plateau waves suggest that the pulse pressure also reflects the state of the cerebral vasomotor tone.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Pressure*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology
  • Pulse