Impact of cerebrovascular disease on the surgical treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Diego Spagnoli, Lucia Innocenti, Lorenzo Bello, Mauro Pluderi, Susanna Bacigaluppi, Giustino Tomei, Sergio M. Gaini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The influence of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) on the short- and long-term results of surgery was evaluated in a series of consecutive patients with idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). METHODS: Patients with suspected iNPH admitted to our department between June 1996 and June 2003 were evaluated with four clinical and handicap scales. CVD and risk factors for vascular disease were rated. All patients underwent intracranial pressure monitoring via a spinal catheter. Sixty-six patients received a ventriculoperitoneal shunt with a programmable valve. Prospective assessments were programmed at 2 weeks and 3 months after surgery (short-term follow-up). Long-term follow-up evaluations were arranged in June 2004 with patients and/or relatives and health/home care assistants. RESULTS: At the short-term follow-up examination, a significant clinical improvement was globally present in 89% of the patients (P <0.05). CVD, such as leucoaraiosis or previous strokes, were present in 71% of the patients. Patients both with and without CVD and/or risk factors for vascular disease presented a significant improvement (P <0.05) after shunting; 85 and 100% of the patients with and without CVD, respectively. At the long-term follow-up examination (mean, 52 ± 24.8 mo), 24% of the patients were dead and 8% had experienced stroke. Globally, 60% of the patients were still improved (P <0.05); 52 and 79% of the patients with and without CVD, respectively. CONCLUSION: A high success rate in treatment of iNPH is possible in patients with and without CVD. Despite poorer short- and long-term treatment outcome of iNPH patients with CVD, a long-lasting improvement in their quality of life favors surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Cerebrospinal fluid pressure monitoring test
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Programmable value shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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