Mixing and modes of mass transfer in the third cerebral ventricle: A computational analysis.

Anatomic, velocimetric, and brain motion MRI scans were combined with a computational fluid dynamics model to investigate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) mixing in the third cerebral ventricle of a healthy male adult. It was found that advection dominates over diffusion in most of the third ventricle. Three zones where diffusion plays an important role in the mixing process were identified. One of these zones, consisting of recessus infundibulus, recessus opticus and the adjacent regions up to commissura anterior, is likely to exist in the general population. We hypothesize that this zone may act as a buffer to flatten concentration peaks of pituitary gland hormones released into the CSF of the third ventricle. We further hypothesize that this zone may facilitate the communication between hypothalamus and the pituitary gland through the third ventricle cerebrospinal fluid by prolonging residence times of the communicated hormones.

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V. Kurtcuoglu, M. Soellinger, P. Summers, D. Poulikakos, P. Boesiger. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 129(5), 695 - 702 (2007). doi: 10.1115/1.2768376