Early brain perfusion improvement after ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus evaluated by 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT – preliminary report
BACKGROUND: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is a clinical syndrome that consists of the triad: gait disturbance, mental deterioration and urinary incontinence associated with normal cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSF), without pre-existing abnormalities. The most popular treatment option is surgical implantation of a shunt. Brain perfusion increase occurring months or years after successful shunt surgery is well described in the literature. Early improvement of perfusion is not well documented. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine patterns of brain perfusion changes 3-6 days after the ventriculoperitoneal shunting in patients with iNPH by using 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixteen patients with iNPH (9 women, 7 men, mean age 64.1 ± 12.7 years) who underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery were included into the study group. Indications for implanting a shunt were based on clinical history, neuroimaging and CSF dynamic studies with an infusion test. Brain perfusion SPECT was performed 1-2 days before and 3-6 days after the surgical treatment. For comparison of perfusion before and after the surgery SPECT scans were assessed visually and semiquantitatively with voxel based analysis.
RESULTS: No side effects were observed after the surgery. Brain perfusion improvement after shunting was observed in 10 patients (62.5%). Patterns of perfusion changes varied between patients, with combinations of different bilateral and lateralized brain regions involved. Perfusion increased in the whole brain (3 patients), in the right cerebral hemisphere (1 patient) or in the separate cerebral regions (6 patients): frontal, parietal, temporal, cerebellum, cingulate gyrus. Perfusion improvement was predominantly observed in the frontal lobes: right frontal (3 cases, 18.8%), left frontal (3 cases, 18.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral perfusion is recovered promptly after ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery in about 60% of patients with iNPH. This improvement may be global or regional in different cerebral areas with prevalence of the frontal lobes.