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MR Measurement of Spinal CSF Flow with the RACE Technique

Kahn Thomas; Müller, Edgar; Lewin, Jonathan S.; Mödder, Ulrich
Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January 1992


The purpose of our study was the application and validation of a phase-sensitive pulse sequence that allowed real time CSF flow measurement without need for electrocardiographic (ECG) synchronization. After excitation of a slice perpendicular to the axis of the spine, projective data were obtained with a gradient echo sequence [contrast enhanced Fourier acquired steadystate technique (CE-FAST)] without spin warp gradient [real time acquisition and evaluation of motion technique (RACE)], allowing one-dimensional spatial resolution across the region of interest with a total sampling time of 20–30 ms. The sequence was calibrated with a spinal CSF phantom with oscillatory fluid motion. The calculated mean pulsation amplitudes of 20 healthy volunteers in the cervical region were 16 mm (range 9–36 mm), in the thoracic region 11 mm (5–21 mm), and in the lumbar region 3 mm (1–6 mm). The technique was capable of demonstrating physiologic alterations of CSF flow during respiratory maneuvers and may provide a tool to evaluate the altered CSF dynamics resulting from spinal block, inflammatory processes, or hemorrhage.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.