Non-invasive estimation of cerebrospinal fluid pressure waveforms by means of retinal venous pulsatility and central aortic blood pressure

S. Mojtaba Golzan*, Mi Ok Kim, Amir Saied Seddighi, Alberto Avolio, Stuart L. Graham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Current techniques used for cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFp) measurements are invasive. They require a surgical procedure for placement of a pressure catheter in the brain ventricles or in the brain tissue. The human eye provides direct visualisation of its physiological structures and due to its anatomical connection with CSF via the retrolaminar optic nerve it may provide accessible information about CSFp. A total of 25 subjects were included in this study. 15 subjects were used to characterise the relationship between intraocular pressure (IOP), spontaneous retinal venous pulsatility (SRVP), and CSFp. IOP was manipulated and SRVP amplitudes recorded dynamically using the dynamic vessel analyzer (DVA). The relationship between IOP and SRVP amplitude was established to estimate CSFp. Additionally Doppler blood flow velocity of the middle cerebral artery and arterial blood pressure (ABP) were acquired for all subjects. This was to compare and validate our findings with an alternative approach (ICM+) which uses these values to estimate CSFp. A CSFp waveform was extracted from central blood pressure (CBP) waveform by removing its cardiac component frequency. Furthermore to calibrate the CSFp to CBP waveform ratio, invasive CSFp, and ABP was measured from 10 subjects with brain tumours who had a range of normal to elevated CSFp (i.e., 0-30 mmHg). Results show good agreement between the two methods (correlation r 2 = 0.55) Mean estimated CSFp for the two techniques did not show any significant difference (p > 0.05). A significant correlation between CBP pulse (CBPp) and invasive CSFp pulse (CSFpp) was observed (i.e., CSFpp = 0.0654CBBp + 3.91, p < 0.01). Estimated CSFpp was calibrated to CBPp according to this relation. In conclusion, the study demonstrated a good correlation between two different methods of estimating CSFp non-invasively and may provide a novel method to estimate CSF waveforms non-invasively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1940-1948
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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