A quantitative index of intracranial cerebrospinal fluid distribution in normal pressure hydrocephalus using an MRI-based processing technique

Neuroradiology. 2000 Jun;42(6):424-9. doi: 10.1007/s002349900241.


Our purpose was to quantify the intracranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume components using an original MRI-based segmentation technique and to investigate whether a CSF volume index is useful for diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). We studied 59 subjects: 16 patients with NPH, 14 young and 13 elderly normal volunteers, and 16 patients with cerebrovascular disease. Images were acquired on a 1.5-T system, using a 3D-fast asymmetrical spin-echo (FASE) method. A region-growing method (RGM) was used to extract the CSF spaces from the FASE images. Ventricular volume (VV) and intracranial CSF volume (ICV) were measured, and a VV/ICV ratio was calculated. Mean VV and VV/ICV ratio were higher in the NPH group than in the other groups, and the differences were statistically significant, whereas the mean ICV value in the NPH group was not significantly increased. Of the 16 patients in the NPH group, 13 had VV/ICV ratios above 30%. In contrast, no subject in the other groups had a VV/ICV ratios higher than 30%. We conclude that these CSF volume parameters, especially the VV/ICV ratio, are useful for the diagnosis of NPH.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values