Assessment of cerebrospinal fluid system dynamics : novel infusion protocol, mathematical modelling and parameter estimation for hydrocephalus investigations

University dissertation from Umeå : Umeå university

Abstract: Patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) have a disturbance in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) system. The treatment is neurosurgical – a shunt is placed in the CSF system. The infusion test is used to assess CSF system dynamics and to aid in the selection of patients that will benefit from shunt surgery. The infusion test can be divided into three parts: a mathematical model, an infusion protocol and a parameter estimation method. A non-linear differential equation is used to mathematically describe the CSF system, where two important parameters are the outflow conductance (Cout) and the Pressure Volume Index (PVI). These are used both for clinical and research purposes. The analysis methods for the non-linear CSF system have limited the infusion protocols of presently used infusion investigations. They come with disadvantages such as long investigation time, no estimation of PVI and no measure of the reliability of the estimates.The aim of this dissertation was to develop and evaluate novel methods for infusion protocols, mathematical modelling and parameter estimation methods for assessment of CSF system dynamics.The infusion protocols and parameter estimation methods in current use, constant pressure infusion (CPI), constant infusion and bolus infusion, were investigated. The estimates of Cout were compared, both on an experimental set-up and on 20 INPH patients. The results showed that the bolus method produced a significantly higher Cout than the other methods. The study suggested a method with continuous infusion for estimating Cout and emphasized that standardization of Cout measurement is necessary.The non-linear model of the CSF system was further developed. The ability to model physiological variations that affect the CSF system was incorporated into the model and it was transformed into a linear time-invariant system. This enabled the use of methods developed for identification of such systems. The underlying model for CSF absorption was discussed and the effect of baseline resting pressure (Pr) in the analysis on the estimation of Cout was explored using two different analyses, with and without Pr.A novel infusion protocol with an oscillating pressure pattern was introduced. This protocol was theoretically better suited for the CSF system characteristics. Three new parameter estimation methods were developed. The adaptive observer was developed from the original non-linear model of the CSF system and estimated Cout in real time. The prediction error method (PEM) and the robust simulation error (RSE) method were based on the transformed linear system, and they estimated both Cout and PVI with confidence intervals in real time. Both the oscillating pressure pattern and the reference CPI protocol were performed on an experimental set-up of the CSF system and on 47 hydrocephalus patients. The parameter estimation methods were applied to the data, and the RSE method produced estimates of Cout that were in good agreement with the reference method and allowed for an individualized and considerably reduced investigation time.In summary, current methods have been investigated and a novel approach for assessment of CSF system dynamics has been presented. The Oscillating Pressure Infusion method, which includes a new infusion protocol, a further developed mathematical model and new parameter estimation methods has resulted in an improved way to perform infusion investigations and should be used when assessing CSF system dynamics. The advantages of the new approach are the pressure-regulated infusion protocol, simultaneous estimation of Cout and PVI and estimates of reliability that allow for an individualized investigation time.

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