by Marianne Schmid Daners, Verena Knobloch, Michaela Soellinger, Peter Boesiger, Burkhardt Seifert, Lino Guzzella, Vartan Kurtcuoglu
The objective of this work is to quantify age-related differences in the characteristics and coupling of cerebral arterial inflow and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics. To this end, 3T phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging blood and CSF flow data of eleven young ( years) and eleven elderly subjects ( years) with a comparable sex-ratio were acquired. Flow waveforms and their frequency composition, transfer functions from blood to CSF flows and cross-correlations were analyzed. The magnitudes of the frequency components of CSF flow in the aqueduct differ significantly between the two age groups, as do the frequency components of the cervical spinal CSF and the arterial flows. The males' aqueductal CSF stroke volumes and average flow rates are significantly higher than those of the females. Transfer functions and cross-correlations between arterial blood and CSF flow reveal significant age-dependence of phase-shift between these, as do the waveforms of arterial blood, as well as cervical-spinal and aqueductal CSF flows. These findings accentuate the need for age- and sex-matched control groups for the evaluation of cerebral pathologies such as hydrocephalus.