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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2018 Apr;38(4):719-726. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17737984. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Paravascular spaces at the brain surface: Low resistance pathways for cerebrospinal fluid flow.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Clearance of waste products from the brain is of vital importance. Recent publications suggest a potential clearance mechanism via paravascular channels around blood vessels. Arterial pulsations might provide the driving force for paravascular flow, but its flow pattern remains poorly characterized. In addition, the relationship between paravascular flow around leptomeningeal vessels and penetrating vessels is unclear. In this study, we determined blood flow and diameter pulsations through a thinned-skull cranial window. We observed that microspheres moved preferentially in the paravascular space of arteries rather than in the adjacent subarachnoid space or around veins. Paravascular flow was pulsatile, generated by the cardiac cycle, with net antegrade flow. Confocal imaging showed microspheres distributed along leptomeningeal arteries, while their presence along penetrating arteries was limited to few vessels. These data suggest that paravascular spaces around leptomeningeal arteries form low resistance pathways on the surface of the brain that facilitate cerebrospinal fluid flow.


Cerebrospinal fluid; fluid dynamics; interstitial fluid; intracranial pressure; paravascular space; subarachnoid space

[Available on 2019-04-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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