Adjustable shunt valve–induced magnetic resonance imaging artifact: a comparative study

J Neurosurg 113:74–78, 2010. (DOI: 10.3171/2009.9.JNS09171)

In this paper, the authors’ goal was to compare the artifact induced by implanted (in vivo) adjustable shunt valves in spin echo, diffusion weighted (DW), and gradient echo MR imaging pulse sequences.

Methods. The MR images obtained in 8 patients with proGAV and 6 patients with Strata II adjustable shunt valves were assessed for artifact areas in different planes as well as the total volume for different pulse sequences.

Results. Artifacts induced by the Strata II valve were significantly larger than those induced by proGAV valve in spin echo MR imaging pulse sequence (29,761 vs 2450 mm3 on T2-weighted fast spin echo, p = 0.003) and DW images (100,138 vs 38,955 mm3, p = 0.025). Artifacts were more marked on DW MR images than on spin echo pulse sequencse for both valve types.

Conclusions. Adjustable valve–induced artifacts can conceal brain pathology on MR images. This should influence the choice of valve implantation site and the type of valve used. The effect of artifacts on DW images should be highlighted pending the development of less MR imaging artifact–inducing adjustable shunt valves.