Differential diagnosis of NPH and brain atrophy assessed by measurement of intracranial and ventricular CSF volume with 3D FASE MRI

Acta Neurochir Suppl. 1998;71:371-4. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6475-4_107.


Differential diagnosis of NPH and brain atrophy is sometimes difficult. Recently, a new method using MRI was introduced as a noninvasive, direct technique for the measurement of intracranial CSF volume. Using this new technique, we measured the intracranial and ventricle CSF volume in patients with enlarged ventricles in order to differentiate between NPH and brain atrophy. Ten healthy volunteers (control group) and 21 patients with enlarged ventricles were enrolled in this study. Eleven out of 21 patients were clinically diagnosed as having NPH (shunted group) and the remaining 10 patients were considered to have cerebral atrophy (non-shunted group). Intracranial and ventricular CSF volume in each case were measured by 3D FASE (Fast Asymmetric Spine-Echo) MR imaging sequence with region growing method. Ventricular/intracranial CSF volume ratio was also calculated. Ten out of 11 patients showed improvement in clinical symptoms and/or dementia scale after shunting. Our results clearly indicate that the ventricular volume in the shunted group was enlarged and that the ventricular/intracranial CSF ratio was significantly high. Thus we concluded that enlarged ventricle with high ventricular/intracranial CSF volume ratio strongly suggests NPH.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure / physiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome