MRI measurements of intracranial pressure in the upright posture: The effect of the hydrostatic pressure gradient

Noam Alperin, Sang H. Lee, Ahmet M. Bagci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose To add the hydrostatic component of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived intracranial pressure (ICP) measurements in the upright posture for derivation of pressure value in a central cranial location often used in invasive ICP measurements. Materials and Methods Additional analyses were performed using data previously collected from 10 healthy subjects scanned in supine and sitting positions with a 0.5T vertical gap MRI scanner (GE Medical). Pulsatile blood and CSF flows to and from the brain were quantified using cine phase-contrast. Intracranial compliance and pressure were calculated using a previously described method. The vertical distance between the location of the CSF flow measurement and a central cranial location was measured manually in the mid-sagittal T<inf>1</inf>-weighted image obtained in the upright posture. The hydrostatic pressure gradient of a CSF column with similar height was then added to the MR-ICP value. Results After adjustment for the hydrostatic component, the mean ICP value was reduced by 7.6 mmHg. Mean ICP referenced to the central cranial level was -3.4 ± 1.7 mmHg compared to the unadjusted value of +4.3 ± 1.8 mmHg. Conclusion In the upright posture, the hydrostatic pressure component needs to be added to the MRI-derived ICP values for compatibility with invasive ICP at a central cranial location. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015;42:1158-1163.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1158-1163
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • CSF flow
  • hydrostatic pressure gradient
  • intracranial pressure
  • phase contrast
  • upright posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'MRI measurements of intracranial pressure in the upright posture: The effect of the hydrostatic pressure gradient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this