Noninvasive intracranial compliance from MRI-based measurements of transcranial blood and CSF flows: Indirect versus direct approach

Rong Wen Tain, Noam Alperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Intracranial compliance (ICC) determines the ability of the intracranial compartment to accommodate an increase in volume without a large increase in intracranial pressure (ICP). The clinical utilization of ICC is limited by the invasiveness of current measurement. Several investigators attempted to estimate ICC noninvasively, from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of cerebral blood and cerebral spinal fluid flows, either using indirect measures of ICC or directly by measuring the ratio of the changes in intracranial volume and pressure during the cardiac cycle. The indirect measures include the phase lag between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and its driving force, either arterial inflow or net transcranial blood flow. This study compares the sensitivity of phase-based and amplitude-based measures of ICC to changes in ICC. In vivo volumetric blood and CSF flows measured by MRI phase contrast from healthy volunteers and from patients with elevated ICP were used for the comparison. An RLC circuit model of the craniospinal system was utilized to simulate the effect of a change in ICC on the CSF flow waveform. The simulations demonstrated that amplitude-based measures of ICC are considerably more sensitive than phase-based measures, and among the amplitude-based measures, the ICC index provides the most reliable estimate of ICC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4637865
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Craniospinal system
  • Intracranial compliance (ICC)
  • Lumped-parameter modeling
  • Phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PCMRI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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