April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure Drops Significantly with Age: A New Risk Factor for POAG?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Fleischman
    Medicine & Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Michael P. Fautsch
    Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Sandra S. Stinnett
    Duke University Eye Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • John P. Berdahl
    Vance Thompson Vision, University of South Dakota Medical Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • R R. Allingham
    Duke University Eye Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  David Fleischman, None; Michael P. Fautsch, None; Sandra S. Stinnett, None; John P. Berdahl, None; R. R. Allingham, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI grants EY07065 (MPF) and EY15736 (MPF)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 242. doi:
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      David Fleischman, Michael P. Fautsch, Sandra S. Stinnett, John P. Berdahl, R R. Allingham; Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure Drops Significantly with Age: A New Risk Factor for POAG?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):242.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Recent studies support the notion that reduced cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFP) is an important risk factor for the development of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). In this study we examined the relationship between age and CSFP in a large electronic database.


Clinical data from patient records who had a lumbar puncture performed at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) between 1996-2009 were reviewed. Demographic and clinical information including medical history, lumbar puncture opening pressure, and CSF analysis was obtained. Patients with diagnoses, medications, or surgical procedures known to affect CSFP were excluded.


Relative to mean CSFP at age group 45-49 (mean 150.3 ± 47.7), mean CSFP declined significantly after age 55. The percent reduction for age group 80-84 was 20.4% (mean 119.7 ± 53.7, p<0.001) and for age group 85-89, was reduced 33.5% (mean 100.0 ± 58.9, p<0.001). There was no difference between sexes.


CSFP demonstrates a significant and sustained reduction after age 55 that is not influenced by sex. Interestingly, the age range where CSFP declines is similar to that where the prevalence of POAG rises. These data support the hypothesis that reduced CSFP may be a risk factor for POAG and offers a reason why this risk would increase with age.  

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: biostatistics/epidemiology methodology • lamina cribrosa • optic nerve 

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