CSF removal in infantile posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus results in significant improvement in cerebral hemodynamics

Pediatr Res. 2004 May;55(5):872-6. doi: 10.1203/01.PDR.0000119370.21770.AC. Epub 2004 Jan 22.


Rational intervention in infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) would be facilitated greatly by bedside measure of impaired cerebral perfusion, as there is substantial evidence that impaired perfusion and oxidative metabolism contribute to irreversible brain injury in hydrocephalus. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measures changes in the cerebral concentration of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin and oxidized cytochrome oxidase at the bedside of infants continuously and noninvasively. The total hemoglobin and the hemoglobin difference signal are derived from the sum and difference, respectively, of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin. Changes in total hemoglobin reflect changes in cerebral blood volume; our previous work has shown that changes in hemoglobin difference signal reflect changes in cerebral blood flow. We hypothesized that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) removal in infants with PHH would result in significant increases in cerebral perfusion, cerebral blood volume, and oxidative metabolism, as measured by NIRS. Continuous NIRS recordings were performed during CSF removal on 16 infants with PHH. There was a statistically significant increase in oxygenated hemoglobin (p < 0.001), total hemoglobin (p = 0.001), and hemoglobin difference signal (p = 0.006), but not oxidized cytochrome oxidase, accompanying CSF removal. There was no significant correlation between either the volume of CSF removed (in milliliters per kilogram body weight) or the opening pressure and the change in any of the measured or calculated NIRS signals. These findings demonstrate the pronounced effect of CSF removal on cerebral perfusion in infants with PHH. NIRS may be a useful technique to detect impending cerebral ischemia in such infants and thereby provide a means to guide the rational management of PHH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Gestational Age
  • Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / therapy*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Perfusion
  • Pressure
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Time Factors


  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Oxygen