Marked cerebrospinal fluid void: indicator of successful shunt in patients with suspected normal-pressure hydrocephalus

Radiology. 1991 Feb;178(2):459-66. doi: 10.1148/radiology.178.2.1987609.


The authors blindly reviewed the charts of 20 patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus (a disease of unknown cause characterized radiologically as chronic communicating hydrocephalus and clinically by gait apraxia, dementia, and incontinence) who had undergone creation of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. The initial clinical response to surgery was graded excellent, good, fair, or poor; 5-year follow-up was available in 55% of cases. The magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained in these patients were also blindly reviewed for the magnitude of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow void (graded on the basis of extent rather than degree of signal loss) in the cerebral aqueduct. A significant (P less than .003) correlation existed between good or excellent response to surgery and an increased CSF flow void. The presence of associated deep white matter infarction on MR images did not correlate with a poor response to surgery. On the basis of these findings, it is suggested that patients who fulfill the clinical criteria of NPH and have an increased CSF flow void undergo creation of a shunt.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebral Aqueduct / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged