Cerebrospinal fluid pulsation amplitude and its quantitative relationship to cerebral blood flow pulsations: a phase-contrast MR flow imaging study

Neuroradiology. 1997 Apr;39(4):258-64. doi: 10.1007/s002340050404.


Our purpose in this investigation was to explain the heterogeneity in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow pulsation amplitudes. To this end, we determined the contributions of the cerebral arterial and jugular venous flow pulsations to the amplitude of the CSF pulsation. We examined 21 healthy subjects by cine phase-contrast MRI at the C2-3 disc level to demonstrate the CSF and vascular flows as waveforms. Multiple regression analysis was performed to calculate the contributions of (a) the arterial and venous waveform amplitudes and (b) the delay between the maximum systolic slopes of the arterial and venous waveforms (AV delay), in order to predict the amplitude of the CSF waveform. The contribution of the arterial waveform amplitude was positive (r = 0.61; p = 0.003) to the CSF waveform amplitude and that of the venous waveform amplitude was negative (r = -0.50; p = 0.006). Both in combination accounted for 56% of the variance in predicting the CSF waveform amplitude (p < 0.0006). The contribution of AV delay was not significant. The results show that the variance in the CSF flow pulsation amplitudes can be explained by concurrent evaluation of the CSF and vascular flows. Improvement in the techniques, and controlled experiments, may allow use of CSF flow pulsation amplitudes for clinical applications in the non-invasive assessment of intracranial dynamics by MRI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure / physiology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / blood supply
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology
  • Reference Values