Skip to main content

Volume 12 Supplement 1

Abstracts from Hydrocephalus 2015

  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Biomechanical model of cerebral vascular dynamics and their effect on CSF dynamics

With advancing age venous wall thickness increases going along with a loss of elastic properties, the arterioles curl and capillary density decreases leading to a reduction of cross sectional area [1]. Even in healthy individuals these changes influence vascular and CSF dynamics, as a reduction of total cerebral blood flow, aqueduct and cervical stroke volume are reported [2]. In NPH these dynamics seem to be altered in a different way, as aqueduct stroke volume [2] and ICP amplitude are increased and arteriovenous delay is drastically reduced compared to normal aging [3]. However it is not clear in what way the described vascular alterations influence the pressure propagation inside the vessels and impact CSF dynamics.

So far no biomechanical model exists that investigates the influence of macroscopic and microscopic changes of cerebral blood vessels. That is why we put a model up for discussion that simulates vascular pressure propagation and enables the investigation of altered vascular properties in the context of NPH.

A Matlab Simulink model was developed reproducing each vessel section by a distensible compartment. Therefore the cerebral vascular tree was divided into 13 sections from carotid artery to venous sinuses and the pulsatile carotid artery and sinus pressure were inputted as Fourier series. The cross sectional area was varied according to literature data and flow resistance was implemented taking into account the rheological characteristics of blood. The Windkessel function and relaxation properties of vascular walls were integrated by a Voigt model, enabling the variation of wall properties for each section individually. Due to the distensible vessel walls each section interacts with the CSF compartment and autoregulation was implemented by a simple proportional controller. After parameterisation mean pressure and pressure amplitude in the vessel sections showed good accordance with literature values [4].

We have proposed a model of vascular dynamics that is able to identify the impact of altered vascular wall properties and structural changes. Furthermore the effect of different arterial and venous input pressure profiles can be analysed. These parameter analyses are part of our ongoing research.


  1. Brown WR, Thore CR: Review: Cerebral microvascular pathology in ageing and neurodegeneration. Neuropath Appl Neuro. 2011

    Google Scholar 

  2. El Sankari S, et al: CSF and blood flow in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease: a differential diagnosis from iNPH. Fluid Barriers CNS. 2011

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bateman GA: The pathophysiology of iNPH: cerebral ischemia or altered venous hemodynamics?. Am J Neuroradiol. 2008

    Google Scholar 

  4. Faraci FM, Heistad DD: Regulation of large cerebral arteries and cerebral microvascular pressure. Circ Res. 1990

    Google Scholar 

  5. Goffin C, Holterhoff A, Leonhardt S, Radermacher K: Modelling and Understanding Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (2015). 10.1007/978-3-319-19387-8_80. IUPESM World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Toronto

  6. Goffin C, Janss A, Erlhofer S, Gaber T J, Knospe E L, Zepf F D, Radermacher K: Challenges and Conceptual Design of a Headset for Home-based Application of EEG-related Neurofeedback for Patients with ADHD. BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING-BIOMEDIZINISCHE TECHNIK. 2014, 59: S454-S457.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Goffin C, Elixmann I, Jeromin S, Hüvelmann P, Kiefer M, Rademacher K, S L: A New Aproach for the Temporary Hydrocephalus Treatment. 2011, ‘Hydrocephalus ISHCSF Conference, Copenhagen’

    Google Scholar 

  8. Goffin C, Krause I, Jeromin S, Kiefer M, Eymann R, Radermacher K, Leonhardt S: An innovative external ventricular drainage system for the treatment of hydrocephalus, in ‘Biomedizinische Technik’. 2011, Walter de Gruyter, Rostock

    Google Scholar 

  9. Elixmann I M, Goffin C, Krueger R, Meier U, Lemcke J, Kiefer M, Antes S, S L: Case Study of Relevant Pressures for an Implanted Hydrocephalus Valve in Everyday Life. 2012, 1635-1638. in ‘34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, San Diego, California USA’

    Google Scholar 

  10. Elixmann I M, Hansinger J, Goffin C, Antes S, Radermacher K, Leonhardt S: Single Pulse Analysis of Intracranial Pressure for a Hydrocephalus Implant. 2012, 3939-3942. in ‘34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, San Diego, California USA’

    Google Scholar 

  11. Elixmann I, Walter M, Goffin C, Hahne S, Kiefer M, Leonhardt S: ‘Hirndruckmodellierung und Regelung einer neuen mechatronischen externen Ventrikeldrainage’, at-Automatisierungstechnik. 2011, 59 (10): 613-621.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christine Goffin.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Goffin, C., Theisgen, L. & Radermacher, K. Biomechanical model of cerebral vascular dynamics and their effect on CSF dynamics. Fluids Barriers CNS 12 (Suppl 1), P14 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: