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Cerebrospinal Fluid Res. 2005 Sep 20;2:6.

Integration of the subarachnoid space and lymphatics: is it time to embrace a new concept of cerebrospinal fluid absorption?

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M5, Canada.


In most tissues and organs, the lymphatic circulation is responsible for the removal of interstitial protein and fluid but the parenchyma of the brain and spinal cord is devoid of lymphatic vessels. On the other hand, the literature is filled with qualitative and quantitative evidence supporting a lymphatic function in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) absorption. The experimental data seems to warrant a re-examination of CSF dynamics and consideration of a new conceptual foundation on which to base our understanding of disorders of the CSF system. The objective of this paper is to review the key studies pertaining to the role of the lymphatic system in CSF absorption.

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