Assessment of craniospinal pressure-volume indices

Anders Wåhlin, K. Ambarki, R. Birgander, N. Alperin, J. Malm, A. Eklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The PVICC of the craniospinal compartment defines the shape of the pressure-volume curve and determines the damping of cyclic arterial pulsations. Despite no reports of direct measurements of the PVICC among healthy elderly, it is believed that a change away from adequate accommodation of cardiac-related pulsations may be a pathophysiologic mechanism seen in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease and idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. In this study, blood and CSF flow measurements are combined with lumbar CSF infusion measurements to assess the craniospinal PVICC and its distribution of cranial and spinal compartments in healthy elderly. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-seven healthy elderly were included (60-82 years of age). The cyclic arterial volume change and the resulting shift of CSF to the spinal compartment were quantified by PC-MR imaging. In addition, each subject underwent a lumbar CSF infusion test in which the magnitude of cardiac-related pulsations in intracranial pressure was quantified. Finally, the PVI was calculated by using a mathematic model. RESULTS: After excluding 2 extreme values, the craniospinal PVICC was calculated to a mean of 9.8 ± 2.7 mL and the estimated average 95% confidence interval of individual measurements was ± 9%. The average intracranial and spinal contributions to the overall compliance were 65% and 35% respectively (n = 35). CONCLUSIONS: Combining lumbar CSF infusion and PC-MR imaging proved feasible and robust for assessment of the craniospinal PVI CC. This study produced normative values and showed that the major compensatory contribution was located intracranially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1650
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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