Cerebrospinal fluid shunts: flow measurements with MR imaging

Radiology. 1989 Oct;173(1):243-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.173.1.2781015.


The authors describe a technique for determination of shunt patency by quantifying cerebrospinal fluid shunt flow rates with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. This method uses a modified clinical sequence that is both sensitive to slow flow perpendicular to the imaging plane and capable of achieving oblique angles with a 4-cm field of view. Velocity-dependent phase images were used to quantify flow rates within the shunt. A preliminary study was performed in seven patients with hydrocephalus and cerebrospinal fluid shunts. Two patients were found to have zero flow in the shunt, while the remaining five had flow rates ranging from 4 to 19 mL/h. Results showed that the measurement of flow rates within the shunt lumen with MR imaging is clinically feasible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / physiology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*