Thermodynamic Approach to Cerebrospinal Fluid Circulation

Leszek Herbowski, Henryk Gurgul


Background: The authors present the thermodynamic approach to the cerebrospinal fluid circulation.

Methods: On the basis of skin temperature measurements in 16 healthy volunteers a 1.6 ± 0.2 ºC (mean ± SD) difference between the frontal and the lumbar regions has been showed.

Results: Such a temperature difference between both ends of the subarachnoid space in the intracranial and the intracanal compartments can cause natural circulation of cerebrospinal fluid to reach a thermal equilibrium. The cerebrospinal fluid flow is a molecular motion as a consequence of the gravity force and the Brownian movements.

Conclusions: The Brownian motions are the driving forces for the cerebrospinal fluid bulk flow directed upwardly. The gravity force is the driving force for the cerebrospinal fluid bulk flow directed downwardly. The cerebrospinal fluid circulation in the spinal canal is like a corkscrew motion.

J Neurol Res. 2011;1(5):215-218


Cerebrospinal fluid circulation; Skin temperature; Thermal equilibrium; Brownian motion; Gravity force

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