Cerebrospinal fluid transients induced by hypercapnia

Am J Physiol. 1983 Nov;245(5 Pt 1):R701-5. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1983.245.5.R701.


Ventriculocisternal perfusion studies using tracers have shown that hypercapnia causes a transient increase in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow rate (displaced CSF volume, Vd) and a decrease in CSF effluent tracer concentration (tracer-free CSF, CSFtf). This dilution could be due to an increase in CSF formation rate (Vf) and/or to displacement of unequilibrated CSFtf sequestered in poorly mixed compartments. To facilitate convection in the subarachnoid spaces, we used a "stop-flow" procedure (by clamping the cisternal outflow tube while infusion was constant) in anesthetized cats during ventriculocisternal perfusion with mock CSF containing [14C]dextran. Each animal spontaneously breathed air, then 5% CO2 both before and after stopflow. Although Vd and the times over which Vd and CSFtf were defined were unaffected, CSFtf was decreased by 50% after stop-flow. We conclude that during ventriculocisternal perfusion, mixing is incomplete in CSF spaces, and that unequilibrated CSF contributes significantly to the reduced tracer concentration in Vd during acute hypercapnia. To determine whether Vf transiently increases in response to CO2 breathing, or to any perturbation causing craniospinal fluid redistribution, homogeneity in CSF spaces must be verified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypercapnia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological
  • Partial Pressure
  • Perfusion


  • Carbon Dioxide