Arterial pulsation-driven cerebrospinal fluid flow in the perivascular space: A computational model

Lynne E. Bilston, David F. Fletcher, Andrew R. Brodbelt, Marcus A. Stoodley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was conducted to determine whether local arterial pulsations are sufficient to cause cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flowalong perivascular spaces (PVS)within the spinal cord.Atheoretical model of the perivascular space surrounding a "typical" small artery was analysed using computational fluid dynamics. Systolic pulsations were modelled as travelling waves on the arterial wall. The effects of wave geometry and variable pressure conditions on fluid flowwere investigated. Arterial pulsations induce fluid movement in the PVS in the direction of arterial wave travel. Perivascular flow continues even in the presence of adverse pressure gradients of a few kilopascals. Flow rates are greater with increasing pulse wave velocities and arterial deformation, as both an absolute amplitude and as a proportion of the PVS. The model suggests that arterial pulsations are sufficient to cause fluid flow in the perivascular space even against modest adverse pressure gradients. Local increases in flow in this perivascular pumping mechanism or reduction in outflow may be important in the etiology of syringomyelia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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