Does the shunt opening pressure influence the effect of shunt surgery in normal pressure hydrocephalus?

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1992;117(1-2):15-22. doi: 10.1007/BF01400629.


Thirteen patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus were operated upon with an externally maneuverable shunt system (Sophy SU8) in order to investigate its influence on clinical outcome, intracranial pressure and cranial CT parameters. The opening pressure was set at high at surgery and lowered stepwise at intervals of three months to medium and low. The clinical condition, intracranial pressure and cranial CT parameters were examined at the end of the 3 months interval on each pressure level. The patients improved within the first 3 months inspite of an unchanged mean intracranial pressure and remained in a stable clinical condition during the rest of the study period. The intracranial pressure was significantly reduced at 9 months. The ventricular index, Evans index, temporal horn and third ventricle width were reduced 3 months post-operatively and did not change significantly during the rest of the study. The pre-operative third ventricle width was correlated to high psychometric test results after shunt surgery. Reduction in ventricular index, Evans index and third ventricle width after surgery correlated to improvement in psychometric scoring. The clinical improvement after shunt surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalus is seen within 3 months and is independent of the adjusted valve pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure / physiology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery*
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed