Decreased cerebrospinal fluid absorption during abdominal insufflation

A. L. Halverson, W. L. Barrett, A. R. Iglesias, W. T. Lee, S. M. Garber, J. M. Sackier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Intracranial pressure (ICP) is known to rise during induced CO2 pneumoperitoneum. This rise correlates with an increase in inferior vena caval pressure; therefore, it is probably associated with increased pressure in the lumbar venous plexus. Branches of this plexus communicate with arachnoid villi in the lumbar cistern and the dural sleeves of spinal nerve roots - areas where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) absorption to normally takes place. The increased venous pressure in this area may impede CSF absorption. Because CSF is produced at a constant rate, decreased absorption will increase ICP. We hypothesized that increased ICP occurring during abdominal insufflation is due, at least in part, to decreased absorption of CSF. The purpose of this study is to show that CSF absorption is inhibited during abdominal insufflation. Methods: After appropriate approval was obtained, 16 domestic swine were anesthetized and injected into the CSF with 100 microcuries (μCu) of I131 radioactive iodinated human serum albumin (RISA) in 2 ml of normal saline. Eight subjects underwent CO2 abdominal insufflation to 15 mmHg and were maintained for 4 h. A control group did not undergo insufflation. Blood levels of RISA were measured over a 4-h period to determine the rate of CSF absorption. Results: Blood levels of RISA increased at a slower rate in the subjects undergoing abdominal insufflation than in the control group. The mean change over 2 h in the insufflated group was 15% compared to 34% in the control group (p = 0.02). This difference indicates decreased absorption of CSF in the insufflated group. Conclusions: These results demonstrate decreased absorption of CSF during abdominal insufflation and support the hypothesis that the increase in ICP pressure occurring during abdominal insufflation is caused, at least in part, by decreased absorption of CSF in the region of the lumbar cistern and the dural sleeves of spinal nerve roots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-800
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1999


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Insufflation
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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