Correlation between lumbo-ventricular perfusion and MRI-CSF flow studies in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Surg Neurol. 1998 Jan;49(1):14-9; discussion 19-20. doi: 10.1016/s0090-3019(97)00032-3.


Background: After the initial description of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) and its clinical triad, there has been a continuous interest from clinicians and researchers to set different diagnostic criteria that would make the selection of candidates for shunt surgery easier and more precise.

Methods: A preliminary group of 12 patients was given a diagnosis of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus by clinical and radiologic criteria. Each patient underwent two different tests: a magnetic resonance imaging-cerebrospinal fluid (MRI-CSF) flow study and a lumbo-ventricular perfusion test. The purpose was to compare the correlation of the results obtained with these tests and the clinical results obtained after CSF diversion. Eleven patients were given shunts and one was managed with lumbar punctures.

Results: One year after treatment, 10 of the 12 patients had improved with good results. The MRI-CSF flow studies were reliable in six patients; there were five false negatives and one false positive. The lumbo-ventricular perfusion test showed reliability in nine patients; there were two false negatives and one false positive. In only three patients were the results of both of these tests in accordance with the outcome.

Conclusions: Even though there are few patients in this study so far, the data suggests that at the present time the most predictive guides for the diagnosis of NPH and its outcome after shunting are the clinical criteria and the radiological findings in computed tomography (CT) and/or MRI rather than lumbo-ventricular perfusion and CSF flow studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Ventricles
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Treatment Outcome