Per Kristian Eide September 5, 2017

Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print. OBJECTIVEThe pathophysiology of chronic noncommunicating hydrocephalus (ncHC) is poorly understood. This present study explored whether lessons about the pathophysiology of this clinical entity might be retrieved from results of overnight monitoring of pulsatile and static intracranial pressure (ICP) and ventricular infusion testing.METHODSThe study cohort included adult patients (> 20 years of age) with chronic ncHC due to aqueductal stenosis in whom symptoms had lasted a minimum of 6 months. A reference cohort consisted of age- and sex-matched patients managed for communicating HC (cHC). Information about symptoms and clinical improvement following surgery was retrieved from a quality register, and results of overnight ICP recordings and ventricular infusion testing were retrieved from the hospital ICP database.RESULTSThe cohort with ncHC consisted of 61 patients of whom 6 (10%) were managed conservatively, 34 (56%) by endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), and 21 (34%) using ETV and subsequent shunt surgery. In patients responding to surgery, pulsatile ICP (mean ICP wave amplitude) was significantly increased to a similar magnitude in patients with ncHC and the reference cohort (cHC). Furthermore, intracranial compliance (ICC) was reduced in clinical responders. The results of ventricular infusion testing provided evidence that patients responding to ETV have impaired ventricular CSF absorption, while those requiring shunt placement after ETV present with impaired CSF absorption both in the intraventricular and extraventricular compartments.CONCLUSIONSThe study may provide some lessons about the pathophysiology of chronic ncHC. First, increased pulsatile ICP and impaired ICC characterize patients with chronic ncHC who respond clinically to

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