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CSF Dynamics for Shunt Prognostication and Revision in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

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Lalou, Afroditi Despina 
Smielewski, Peter 
Nabbanja, Eva 


Background: Despite the quantitative information derived from testing of the CSF circulation, there is still no consensus on what the best approach could be in defining criteria for shunting and predicting response to CSF diversion in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Objective: We aimed to review the lessons learned from assessment of CSF dynamics in our center and summarize our findings to date. We have focused on reporting the objective perspective of CSF dynamics testing, without further inferences to individual patient management. Discussion: No single parameter from the CSF infusion study has so far been able to serve as an unquestionable outcome predictor. Resistance to CSF outflow (Rout) is an important biological marker of CSF circulation. It should not, however, be used as a single predictor for improvement after shunting. Testing of CSF dynamics provides information on hydrodynamic properties of the cerebrospinal compartment: the system which is being modified by a shunt. Our experience of nearly 30 years of studying CSF dynamics in patients requiring shunting and/or shunt revision, combined with all the recent progress made in producing evidence on the clinical utility of CSF dynamics, has led to reconsidering the relationship between CSF circulation testing and clinical improvement. Conclusions: Despite many open questions and limitations, testing of CSF dynamics provides unique perspectives for the clinician. We have found value in understanding shunt function and potentially shunt response through shunt testing in vivo. In the absence of infusion tests, further methods that provide a clear description of the pre and post-shunting CSF circulation, and potentially cerebral blood flow, should be developed and adapted to the bed-space.



hydrocephalus, normal pressure hydrocephalus, CSF infusion tests, CSF dynamics, intracranial pressure, cerebral blood flow

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Journal of Clinical Medicine

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