Mathematical modelling of CSF pulsatile flow in aqueduct cerebri

Zofia Czosnyka, Dong Ju Kim, Olivier Balédent, Eric A. Schmidt, Peter Smielewski, Marek Czosnyka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The phase-contrast MRI technique permits the non-invasive assessment of CSF movements in cerebrospinal fluid cavities of the central nervous system. Of particular interest is pulsatile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow through the aqueduct cerebri. It is allegedly increased in hydrocephalus, having potential diagnostic value, although not all scientific reports contain unequivocally positive conclusions. Methods: For the mathematical simulation of CSF flow, we used a computational model of cerebrospinal blood/fluid circulation designed by a former student as his PhD project. With this model, cerebral blood flow and CSF may be simulated in various vessels using a system of non-linear differential equations as time-varying signals. Results: The amplitude of CSF flow seems to be positively related to the amplitude of pulse waveforms of intracranial pressure (ICP) in situations where mean ICP increases, such as during simulated infusion tests and following step increases of resistance to CSF outflow. An additional positive association between the pulse amplitude of ICP and CSF flow can be seen during simulated increases in the amplitude of arterial pulses (without changes in mean arterial pressure, MAP). The opposite effect can be observed during step increases in the resistance of the aqueduct cerebri and with decreasing elasticity of the system, where the CSF flow amplitude and the ICP pulse amplitude are related inversely. Vasodilatation caused by both gradual decreases in MAP and by increases in PaCO2 provokes an elevation in the observed amplitude of pulsatile CSF flow. Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate that the pulsations of CSF flow may carry information about both CSF-circulatory and cerebral vasogenic components. In most cases, the pulsations of CSF flow are positively related to the pulse amplitudes of both arterial pressure and ICP and to a degree of cerebrovascular dilatation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Wien
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
ISSN (Print)0065-1419
ISSN (Electronic)2197-8395


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Pulsatile flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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