Quantification of abnormal intracranial pressure waves and isotope cisternography for diagnosis of occult communicating hydrocephalus

Surg Neurol. 1989 Jan;31(1):20-7. doi: 10.1016/0090-3019(89)90214-0.


Nineteen consecutive patients with suspected occult communicating hydrocephalus were investigated by means of clinical evaluation, neuropsychological testing, isotope cisternography, computed tomography scanning, and continuous intracranial pressure monitoring. Semi-quantitative grading systems were used in the evaluation of the clinical, neuropsychological, and cisternographic assessments. Clinical examination, neuropsychological testing, and computed tomography scanning were repeated 3 months after ventriculoperitoneal shunting. All patients showed abnormal intracranial pressure waves and all improved after shunting. There was close correlation between number, peak, and pulse pressures of B waves and the mean intracranial pressure. However, quantification of B waves by means of number, frequency, and amplitude did not help in predicting the degree of clinical improvement postshunting. The most sensitive predictor of favorable response to shunting was enlargement of the temporal horns on computed tomography scan. Furthermore, the size of temporal horns correlated with mean intracranial pressure. There was no correlation between abnormalities on isotope cisternography and clinical improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Indium Radioisotopes*
  • Intracranial Pressure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelography
  • Pentetic Acid*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Pentetic Acid