The Influence of Pulse and Respiration on Spinal Cerebrospinal Fluid Pulsation

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Rationale and Objectives:The aim of the study is to elucidate the location and amount of spinal cerebrospinal fluid pulsations and to differentiate and quantify the cardiac and the respiratory influence.Materials and Methods:An echo planar imaging sequence was applied to 5 different levels of the spinal canal of 7 healthy volunteers. The amount of maximal flow and respiratory signal variation were determined by a time and frequency domain analysis, respectively.Results:CSF pulsation was high in the anterior cervical and in the thoracolumbar spine. Respiratory influence rose by 19% at C1 and by 28% at T12. The systolic flow was elevated during late expiration and the diastolic upward movement was pronounced by early expiration.Conclusion:The pulsation in the lower spine seems to be related to a second motor of CSF movement because there is a rising respiratory influence and a reappearance of pulsation waves. Physiological spinal CSF pulsation contains a relevant respiratory component.

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