Intracranial pressure waveform characteristics in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and late-onset idiopathic aqueductal stenosis

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Fluids and Barriers of the CNS


Background: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) and late-onset idiopathic aqueductal stenosis (LIAS) are two forms of chronic adult hydrocephalus of different aetiology. We analysed overnight intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring to elucidate ICP waveform changes characteristic for iNPH and LIAS to better understand pathophysiological processes of both diseases. Methods: 98 patients with iNPH and 14 patients with LIAS from two neurosurgical centres were included. All patients underwent diagnostic overnight computerised ICP monitoring with calculation of mean ICP, ICP heartbeat related pulse wave amplitude calculated in the frequency domain (AMP) and the time domain (MWA), index of cerebrospinal compensatory reserve (RAP) and power of slow vasogenic waves (SLOW). Results: ICP was higher in LIAS than iNPH patients (9.3 ± 3.0 mmHg versus 5.4 ± 4.2 mmHg, p = 0.001). AMP and MWA were higher in iNPH versus LIAS (2.36 ± 0.91 mmHg versus 1.81 ± 0.59 mmHg for AMP, p = 0.012; 6.0 ± 2.0 mmHg versus 4.9 ± 1.2 mmHg for MWA, p = 0.049). RAP and SLOW indicated impaired reserve capacity and compliance in both diseases, but did not differ between groups. INPH patients were older than LIAS patients (77 ± 6 years versus 54 ± 14 years, p < 0.001). Conclusions: ICP is higher in LIAS than in iNPH patients, likely due to the chronically obstructed CSF flow through the aqueduct, but still in a range considered normal. Interestingly, AMP/MWA was higher in iNPH patients, suggesting a possible role of high ICP pulse pressure amplitudes in iNPH pathophysiology. Cerebrospinal reserve capacity and intracranial compliance is impaired in both groups and the pressure-volume relationship might be shifted towards lower ICP values in iNPH. The physiological influence of age on ICP and AMP/MWA requires further research.

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University of New South Wales



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