[Non-invasive estimation of intracranial pressure : MR-based evaluation in children with hydrocephalus]

Muehlmann M, Steffinger D, Peraud A, Lehner M, Heinen F, Alperin N, Ertl-Wagner B, Koerte IK

Radiologe 2012 Sep;52(9):827-32

PMID: 22903585


CLINICAL/METHODICAL ISSUE: The intracranial pressure (ICP) is a crucially important parameter for diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making in patients with hydrocephalus.

STANDARD RADIOLOGICAL METHODS: So far there is no standard method to non-invasively assess the ICP. Various approaches to obtain the ICP semi-invasively or non-invasively are discussed and the clinical application of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based method to estimate ICP (MR-ICP) is demonstrated in a group of pediatric patients with hydrocephalus.

METHODICAL INNOVATIONS: Arterial inflow, venous drainage and craniospinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow were quantified using phase-contrast imaging to derive the MR-ICP.

PERFORMANCE: A total of 15 patients with hydrocephalus (n=9 treated with shunt placement or ventriculostomy) underwent MRI on a 3 T scanner applying retrospectively-gated cine phase contrast sequences. Of the patients six had clinical symptoms indicating increased ICP (age 2.5-14.61 years, mean 7.4 years) and nine patients had no clinical signs of elevated ICP (age 2.1-15.9 years; mean 9.8 years; all treated with shunt or ventriculostomy). Median MR-ICP in symptomatic patients was 24.5 mmHg (25th percentile 20.4 mmHg; 75th percentile 44.6 mmHg). Median MR-ICP in patients without acute signs of increased ICP was 9.8 mmHg (25th percentile 8.6 mmHg; 75th percentile 11.4 mmHg). Group differences were significant (p < 0.001; Mann-Whitney U-test).

ACHIEVEMENTS: The MR-ICP technique is a promising non-invasive tool for estimating ICP.

PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Further studies in larger patient cohorts are warranted to investigate its application in children with hydrocephalus.