BACKGROUND. Methodology for estimation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tracer clearance could have wide clinical application in predicting excretion of intrathecal drugs and metabolic solutes from brain metabolism, and for diagnostic work-up of cerebrospinal fluid disturbances. METHODS. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent gadobutrol (Gadovist) was utilized as CSF tracer and injected into the lumbar CSF. Gadobutrol is contained outside blood vessels of the central nervous system (CNS) and is thus eliminated along extra-vascular pathways, analogous to many CNS metabolites and intrathecal drugs. Tracer enrichment was verified and assessed in CSF by MRI at level of the cisterna magna in parallel with obtaining blood samples through 48 hours. RESULTS. In a reference patient cohort (REF; n=29), both enrichment within CSF and blood coincided in time. Blood concentration profiles of gadobutrol through 48 hours varied between patients diagnosed with CSF leakage (n=4), idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus dementia (iNPH; n=7), pineal cysts (n=8), and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH; n=4). CONCLUSION. Assessment of CSF tracer clearance is clinically feasible and may provide a way to predict extra-vascular clearance of intrathecal drugs and endogenous metabolites from the CNS. The peak concentration in blood (at about 10 hrs) preceded by far peak tracer enhancement at MRI in extra-cranial lymphatic structures (at about 24 hrs) as shown in previous studies, indicating a major role of the spinal canal in CSF clearance capacity. FUNDING. The work was supported by Department of Neurosurgery, Oslo university hospital, and Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway, and University of Oslo.
Per K. Eide, Espen Mariussen, Hilde Uggerud, Are H. Pripp, Aslan Lashkarivand, Bjørnar Hassel, Hege Christensen, Markus Herberg Hovd, Geir Ringstad