We evaluated the perceived and actual changes in gait and balance function immediately after cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), including those with mild cases.
Materials and Methods
Ninety-nine iNPH patients were assessed using the timed Up and Go (TUG) and Functional Gait Assessment (FGA) before and 1-week after CSF shunting and their perceived changes were assessed on a Global Rate of Change (GRC) scale. Minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) were calculated using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method using GRC scores.
In all patients (n = 99), the TUG value postoperatively was significantly faster than the preoperative value (difference; 3.1 ± 4.6 s, p < 0.001), and the postoperative FGA score was significantly better than the preoperative score (difference; 3.8 ± 3.3 points, p < 0.001). In the TUG <15 s group (n = 51), the postoperative FGA score was significantly improved (difference; 3.3 ± 2.9 points, p < 0.001), whereas the TUG value was only slightly improved (difference; 0.6 ± 1.6 s, p = 0.008). The ROC curve MCIDs of GRC ≥2 points, which is the recommended level of improvement, were 1.7 s (16.5%) for the TUG and 4 points (20.0%) for the FGA in all patients (n = 99) and the TUG <15 s group (n = 51).
FGA can be used to confirm treatment effects, including perceived and actual changes after CSF shunting, in patients with mild iNPH. Our results can help clinicians to determine the clinical significance of improvements in gait and balance function immediately after CSF shunting in individual patients with iNPH.