AuthorsK. Støverud, K. Mardal, H. P. Langtangen and V. Haughton
EditorsB. H. Skallerud and H. Andersson
TitleThe Effect of Varying Cross-Sectional Areas on Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow and Pressure in the Cervical Spine
AfilliationScientific Computing
Project(s)Center for Biomedical Computing (SFF)
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2011
Conference NameMekIT'11. Sixth national conference on Computational Mechanics
PublisherTapir Academic Press
ISBN Number978-82-519-2798-7

The aim of this study was to determine CSF pressure and velocities in idealized geometries representing the stenosed spinal canal found in Chiari patients.We applied the Navier-Stokes equation to simulate the cyclic CSF flow during one cardiac cycle. Hereby, we have illuminated a well-established medical hypothesis for the relation between the Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia: namely that spinal cord cysts are caused by the so-called Venturi effect (predicted by Bernoulli's law) appearing in fluids that flow through obstructed areas. The results showed that the pressure gradient in geometries with obstructions comparable to Chiari patients may be 10 times as high as under normal flow conditions. The results also showed that the pressure gradients at the level of an obstruction may be twice as large as that predicted from steady flow or Bernoulli's law.

Citation KeySimula.simula.630