Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters nervous tissues through perivascular spaces. Flow through these pathways is important for solute transport and to prevent fluid accumulation. Syringomyelia is commonly associated with subarachnoid space obstructions such as Chiari I malformation. However, the mechanism of development of these fluid-filled cavities is unclear. Studies have suggested that changes in the arterial and CSF pressures could alter normal perivascular flow. This study uses an idealised model of the perivascular space to investigate how variation in the arterial pulse influences fluid flow. The model used simulated subarachnoid pressures from healthy controls (N = 9), Chiari patients with (N = 7) and without (N = 8) syringomyelia. A parametric analysis was conducted to determine how features of the arterial pulse altered flow. The features of interest included: the timing and magnitude of the peak displacement, and the area under the curve in the phases of uptake and decline. A secondary aim was to determine if the previously observed differences between subject groups were sensitive to variation in the arterial pulse wave. The study demonstrated that the Chiari patients without a syrinx maintained a significantly higher level of perivascular inflow over a physiologically likely range of pulse wave shapes. The analysis also suggested that age-related changes in the arterial pulse (i.e. increased late systolic pulse amplitude and faster diastolic decay), could increase resistance to perivascular inflow affecting solute transport.
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
- Chiari malformation
- Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
- Perivascular space