The presence of arachnoiditis affects the characteristics of CSF flow in the spinal subarachnoid space

A modelling study

Shaokoon Cheng*, Marcus A. Stoodley, Johnny Wong, Sarah Hemley, David F. Fletcher, Lynne E. Bilston

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder characterised by high pressure fluid-filled cysts within the spinal cord. As syringomyelia is associated with abnormalities of the central nervous system that obstruct cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, it is thought that changes in CSF dynamics play an important role in its pathogenesis. Using three-dimensional computational models of the spinal subarachnoid space (SAS), this study aims to determine SAS obstructions, such as arachnoiditis, change in CSF dynamics in the SAS. The geometry of the SAS was reconstructed from a series of MRI images. CSF is modelled as an incompressible Newtonian fluid with a dynamic viscosity of 1. mPa. s. Three computational models simulated CSF flow in either the unobstructed SAS, or with the SAS obstructed by a porous region simulating dorsal or circumferential arachnoiditis. The permeability of this porous obstruction was varied for the model with dorsal arachnoiditis. The results show that arachnoiditis increases flow resistance in the SAS and this is accompanied by a modest increase in magnitude and/or shift in timing (with respect to the cardiac cycle) of the CSF pressure drop across the region of arachnoiditis. This study suggests that syrinx formation may be related to a change in temporal CSF pulse pressure dynamics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1186-1191
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2012

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The presence of arachnoiditis affects the characteristics of CSF flow in the spinal subarachnoid space: A modelling study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this