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Simultaneous recording of cerebrospinal fluid pressure and middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity in patients with suspected symptomatic normal pressure hydrocephalus.
  1. D W Droste,
  2. J K Krauss
  1. Department of Neurology, University of Freiburg, Germany.


    CSF pressure (intracranial pressure, in one patient lumbar pressure) was monitored continuously for one night in 23 patients with suspected symptomatic normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) to identify patients who might benefit from subsequent shunt surgery. In 20 patients middle cerebral artery (MCA) blood flow velocity by means of transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) and CSF pressure were recorded simultaneously. In three patients transcranial Doppler signals were insufficient. Spontaneous changes in CSF pressure always paralleled changes in the TCD signal. Equivalents of B-waves as well as intermediate waves (in between B- and A-waves), and C-waves could be identified easily and always appeared in phase. The Doppler signal, however, could not be used to evaluate the absolute changes in CSF pressure. Fast Fourier Transform of the Doppler signal was a useful tool to indicate the relative frequency of B-wave equivalents. In five patients the injection of 10ml saline into the ventricle raised intracranial pressure considerably, but hardly affected the MCA blood flow velocity. Continuous TCD monitoring might be useful as a noninvasive screening procedure in patients with suspected symptomatic NPH before continuous invasive CSF pressure measurements are performed.

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