Arterial pulsation—dependent perivascular cerebrospinal fluid flow into the central canal in the sheep spinal cord

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✓ The impetus for the enlargement of syringes is unknown. The authors hypothesize that there is a flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from perivascular spaces into the central canal and that the flow is driven by arterial pulsations. Using horse-radish peroxidase as a tracer, the CSF flow was studied in normal sheep, in sheep with damped arterial pulsations, and in sheep with lowered spinal subarachnoid pressure. The CSF flow from perivascular spaces into the central canal was demonstrated in the normal sheep, and two patterns of flow were identified: 1) from perivascular spaces in the central gray matter; and 2) from perivascular spaces in the ventral white commissure. Flow into the central canal was also observed in the sheep with lowered spinal subarachnoid pressure, but not in those with reduced arterial pulse pressure. This study provides evidence that CSF flow from perivascular spaces into the central canal is dependent on arterial pulsations. Arterial pulsation—driven CSF flow may be the impetus for the expansion of syringes.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Marcus A. Stoodley, B.Med.Sc., M.B.,B.S., Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, West Australia 6009, Australia. E-mail: stoodley@enternet.com.au

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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Figures

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    Photomicrograph showing the central gray matter in a cervical spinal cord section obtained in the sheep killed immediately after HRP injection. The HRP reaction product is present in perivascular spaces and is spreading into the interstitial space (arrow) toward the central canal (asterisk). The central canal does not contain reaction product. The dorsal columns are at the top of the figure. HRP/TMB, original magnification × 200.

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    Photomicrographs of cervical spinal cord sections obtained in a sheep killed 10 minutes after HRP injection, oriented so that the dorsal columns appear at the top of each figure. HRP/TMB stain. Upper: Section showing dense labeling of perivascular spaces throughout the white matter and in the central gray matter. Original magnification × 15. Center: Photomicrograph showing central gray matter. Reaction product is seen in perivascular spaces of central gray matter vessels and is spreading (arrows) into the central canal (asterisk). Original magnification × 100. Lower: Photomicrograph showing central gray matter. The HRP reaction product is present in perivascular spaces in vessels entering the cord from the ventral median fissure and is spreading into the central canal (asterisk) in a distinctive pattern. Original magnification × 100.

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    Pressure recordings obtained in a sheep before and after ligation of the brachiocephalic artery. The arrow indicates a break in the pressure recordings during which the brachiocephalic artery was ligated. Arterial, intracranial, and spinal subarachnoid pulse pressures were lowered after the ligation, without markedly altering the mean pressures.

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    Left: Low-power photomicrograph of a cervical cord section obtained in a sheep that underwent brachiocephalic artery ligation and was killed 10 minutes after HRP injection. Reaction product is present in superficial segments of some white matter perivascular spaces (arrows), but there is no reaction product in the central gray matter or near the central canal (arrowhead). The dorsal surface of the cord is seen at the top of the figure. HRP/TMB, original magnification × 15. Right: Photomicrograph of central gray matter in a cervical cord section obtained in a sheep that underwent sham brachiocephalic ligation and was killed 10 minutes after HRP injection. The HRP reaction product is spreading from a central gray matter perivascular space (arrow) into the central canal (asterisk). The dorsal columns appear at the top of the figure. HRP/TMB, original magnification × 100.

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    Pressure recordings obtained in a sheep before and after removal of 16 ml CSF from the spinal subarachnoid space, a procedure that lowered the spinal subarachnoid pressure to less than 5 mm Hg. The arrow indicates a break in the pressure recordings during which CSF was removed from the spinal subarachnoid space.

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    Photomicrograph of central gray matter in a cervical cord section obtained in a sheep with reduced spinal subarachnoid pressure that was killed 10 minutes after HRP injection. Reaction product is present in central gray matter perivascular spaces and is spreading (arrow) into the central canal (asterisk). The dorsal columns are seen at the top of the figure. HRP/TMB, original magnification × 100.

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