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Research paper
Preoperative and postoperative 1H-MR spectroscopy changes in frontal deep white matter and the thalamus in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus
  1. Fredrik Lundin1,2,
  2. Anders Tisell3,4,5,
  3. Göran Leijon1,2,
  4. Olof Dahlqvist Leinhard3,4,5,
  5. Leif Davidsson6,7,
  6. Anders Grönqvist3,4,5,
  7. Carsten Wikkelsø8,
  8. Peter Lundberg3,4,5
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Neurology UHL, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
  3. 3Radiation Physics, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Radiation Physics UHL, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
  5. 5Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, CMIV, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  6. 6Radiology, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  7. 7Department of Radiology UHL, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden
  8. 8Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fredrik Lundin, Division of Neuroscience, University of Linköping, Linköping S-581 83, Sweden; Fredrik.Lundin{at}


Background In a previous study we found significantly decreased N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and total N-acetyl (tNA) groups in the thalamus of patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) compared with healthy individuals (HI). No significant difference between the groups could be found in the frontal deep white matter (FDWM).

Objective The primary aim of this study was to investigate if these metabolites in the thalamus were normalised after shunt surgery. The secondary aim was to investigate postoperative metabolic changes in FDWM.

Subjects and methods Fourteen patients with iNPH, mean age 74 years, and 15 HI, also mean age 74 years, were examined. Assessment of a motor score (MOSs) was performed before and after shunt surgery. Absolute quantitative 1H-MR spectroscopy (1.5 T, volumes of interest 2.5–3 ml) was performed on the patients in the FDWM and in the thalamus, before and 3 months after shunt surgery, and also once on the HI. The following metabolites were analysed: tNA, NAA, total creatine, total choline (tCho), myo-inositol (mIns), glutamate and lactate concentrations. MRI volumetric calculations of the lateral ventricles were also performed.

Results At 3 months postoperatively, we found no significant changes of tNA or NAA in the thalamus. In contrast, in the FDWM, there was a significant increase of tCho (p=0.01) and a borderline significant decrease of mIns (p=0.06). 12/14 patients were shunt responders (motor function). Median reduction of the lateral ventricle was 16%. A weak correlation between MOS and ventricular reduction was seen.

Conclusions Normalisation of thalamic tNA and NAA could not be detected postoperatively. The increased tCho and decreased mIns in the FDWM postoperatively might relate to clinical improvement.

  • CSF
  • MRS

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