MR elastography can be used to measure brain stiffness changes as a result of altered cranial venous drainage during jugular compression

A. Hatt, S. Cheng, X. K. Tan, R. Sinkus, L. E. Bilston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Compressing the internal jugular veins can reverse ventriculomegaly in the syndrome of inappropriately low pressure acute hydrocephalus, and it has been suggested that this works by "stiffening" the brain tissue. Jugular compression may also alter blood and CSF flow in other conditions. We aimed to understand the effect of jugular compression on brain tissue stiffness and CSF flow. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The head and neck of 9 healthy volunteers were studied with and without jugular compression. Brain stiffness (shear modulus) was measured by usingMRelastography. Phase-contrastMRimaging was used to measure CSF flow in the cerebral aqueduct and blood flow in the neck. RESULTS: The shear moduli of the brain tissue increased with the percentage of blood draining through the internal jugular veins during venous compression. Peak velocity of caudally directed CSF in the aqueduct increased significantly with jugular compression (P.001). The mean jugular venous flow rate, amplitude, and vessel area were significantly reduced with jugular compression, while cranial arterial flow parameters were unaffected. CONCLUSIONS: Jugular compression influences cerebral CSF hydrodynamics in healthy subjects and can increase brain tissue stiffness, but the magnitude of the stiffening depends on the percentage of cranial blood draining through the internal jugular veins during compression-that is, subjects who maintain venous drainage through the internal jugular veins during jugular compression have stiffer brains than those who divert venous blood through alternative pathways. These methods may be useful for studying this phenomenon in patients with the syndrome of inappropriately low-pressure acute hydrocephalus and other conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1971-1977
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

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