Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Implications for a Modern Management Protocol

Neurosurgery 91:529–540, 2022

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting is widely used in refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Although multiple reviews have assessed its efficacy compared with other surgical treatments, there is no detailed analysis that evaluates the clinical outcomes after CSF shunting.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a meta-analysis of the clinical impact of CSF shunting for refractory IIH and use this in conjunction with existing information on other treatment modalities to develop a modern management protocol.

METHODS: PubMed and Embase were systematically searched for studies describing CSF shunting for medically refractory IIH. Relevant information including study characteristics, patient demographics, clinical outcomes, periprocedural complications, and long-term outcomes were subjected to meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies published between 1988 and 2019 met our inclusion and exclusion criteria, providing 372 patients for analysis. The mean age was 31.2 years (range 0.5-71) with 83.6% being female. The average follow-up was 33.9 months (range 0-278 months). The overall rate of improvement in headache, papilledema, and visual impairment was 91% (95% CI 84%-97%), 96% (95% CI 85%-100%), and 85% (95% CI 72%95%), respectively. Of 372 patients, 155 had 436 revisions; the overall revision rate was 42% (95% CI 26%-59%). There was no significant correlation between average follow-up duration and revision rates in studies (P = .627). Periprocedural low-pressure headaches were noted in 74 patients (20%; 95% CI 11%-32%).

CONCLUSION: CSF shunting for IIH is associated with significant improvement in clinical symptoms. Shunting rarely causes periprocedural complications except overdrainagerelated low-pressure headache. However, CSF shunting has a relatively high revision rate.

Cerebrospinal fluid shunting protocol for idiopathic intracranial hypertension for an improved revision rate

J Neurosurg 136:1790–1795, 2022

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is associated with high complication rates, primarily because of the technical challenges that are related to small ventricles and a large body habitus. In this study, the authors report the benefits of a standardized protocol for CSF shunting in patients with IIH as relates to shunt revisions.

METHODS This was a retrospective study of consecutive patients with IIH who had undergone primary insertion of a CSF shunt between January 2014 and December 2020 at the authors’ hospital. In July 2019, they implemented a surgical protocol for shunting in IIH. This protocol recommended IIH shunt insertion by neurosurgeons with expertise in CSF disorders, a frontal ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt with an adjustable gravitational valve and integrated intracranial pressure monitoring device, frameless stereotactic insertion of the ventricular catheter, and laparoscopic insertion of the peritoneal catheter. Thirty-day revision rates before and after implementation of the protocol were compared in order to assess the impact of standardizing shunting for IIH on shunt complications.

RESULTS The 81 patients included in the study were predominantly female (93%), with a mean age of 31 years at primary surgery and mean body mass index (BMI) of 37 kg/m2. Forty-five patients underwent primary surgery prior to implementation of the protocol and 36 patients after. Overall, 12 (15%) of 81 patients needed CSF shunt revision in the first 30 days, 10 before and 2 after introduction of the protocol. This represented a significant reduction in the early revision rate from 22% to 6% after the protocol (p = 0.036). The most common cause of shunt revision for the whole cohort was migration or misplacement of the peritoneal catheter, occurring in 6 of the 12 patients. Patients with a higher BMI were significantly more likely to have a shunt revision within 30 days (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS The Birmingham standardized IIH shunt protocol resulted in a significant reduction in revisions within 30 days of primary shunt surgery in patients with IIH. The authors recommend standardization for shunting in IIH as a method for improving surgical outcomes. They support the notion of subspecialization for IIH shunts, the use of a frontal VP shunt with sophisticated technology, and laparoscopic insertion of the peritoneal end. https:

Transverse sinus stenting without surgical repair in idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses

J Neurosurg 136:1745–1751, 2022

Based on their clinical and radiological patterns, idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea and idiopathic intracranial hypertension can represent different clinical expressions of the same underlying pathological process. Transverse sinus stenoses are associated with both diseases, resulting in eventual restriction of the venous CSF outflow pathway. While venous sinus stenting has emerged as a promising treatment for idiopathic intracranial hypertension, its efficiency on idiopathic CSF leaks has not been very well addressed in the literature so far. The purpose of this study was to report the results of transverse sinus stenting in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

METHODS From a prospectively collected database, the authors retrospectively collected the clinical and radiological features of the patients with spontaneous CSF leakage who were treated with venous sinus stenting.

RESULTS Five female patients were included in this study. Transverse sinus stenoses were present in all patients, and other radiological signs of idiopathic intracranial hypertension were present in 4 patients. The median transstenotic pressure gradient was 6.5 mm Hg (range 3–9 mm Hg). Venous stenting resulted in the disappearance of the leak in 4 patients with no recurrence and no subsequent meningitis during the follow-up (median 12 months, range 6–63 months).

CONCLUSIONS According to the authors’ results, venous sinus stenting may result in the disappearance of the leak in many cases of idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea. Larger comparative studies are needed to assess the efficiency and safety of venous stenting as a first-line approach in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

Cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3353–3368

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a rare disease of unknown aetiology related possibly to disturbed cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics and characterised by elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) causing optic nerve atrophy if not timely treated. We studied CSF dynamics of the IIH patients based on the available literature and our well-defined cohort.

Method A literature review was performed from PubMed between 1980 and 2020 in compliance with the PRISMA guideline. Our study includes 59 patients with clinical, demographical, neuro-ophthalmological, radiological, outcome data, and lumbar CSF pressure measurements for suspicion of IIH; 39 patients had verified IIH while 20 patients did not according to Friedman’s criteria, hence referred to as symptomatic controls.

Results The literature review yielded 19 suitable studies; 452 IIH patients and 264 controls had undergone intraventricular or lumbar CSF pressure measurements. In our study, the mean CSF pressure, pulse amplitudes, power of respiratory waves (RESP), and the pressure constant (P0) were higher in IIH than symptomatic controls (p < 0.01). The mean CSF pressure was higher in IIH patients with psychiatric comorbidity than without (p < 0.05). In IIH patients without acetazolamide treatment, the RAP index and power of slow waves were also higher (p < 0.05). IIH patients with excess CSF around the optic nerves had lower relative pulse pressure coefficient (RPPC) and RESP than those without (p < 0.05).

Conclusions Our literature review revealed increased CSF pressure, resistance to CSF outflow and sagittal sinus pressure (SSP) as key findings in IIH. Our study confirmed significantly higher lumbar CSF pressure and increased CSF pressure waves and RAP index in IIH when excluding patients with acetazolamide treatment. In overall, the findings reflect decreased craniospinal compliance and potentially depleted cerebral autoregulation resulting from the increased CSF pressure in IIH. The increased slow waves in patients without acetazolamide may indicate issues in autoregulation, while increased P0 could reflect the increased SSP.

 

 

Prepontine Shunting for Pseudotumor Cerebri in Previously Failed Shunt Patients

Neurosurgery 88(2)2021: 306–312

Shunting procedures have a high failure rate when used to treat pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) patients who have failed medical therapy. This failure is believed to be attributable to the collapsibility of the ventricular systemwhenexposed to increased differential pressure gradients in the cerebral spinal fluid compartments caused by ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPS).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether prepontine/interpeduncular cistern shunting may be a reasonable alternative to VPS intervention in PTC patients with history of shunt failure. There have been no large series of cisternal-peritoneal shunt (CPS) patients in the PTC population.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 49 patients with placement of CPS for PTC with 2 failed prior shunting procedures was performed. Shunt survivability was based on shunt patency and resolution of ophthalmologic symptoms and cranial nerve deficits. All patientswere followed for aminimum of 3 yrwith serial ophthalmologic and neurosurgical evaluations.

RESULTS: At 3 yr, 44 of the 49 (88.9%) patients had working CPS. Three patients in this group had infections requiring complete shunt removal. Excluding infections, 44 of 46 (95.5%) shunts were functional at 3 yr. There were 3 small, asymptomatic hemorrhages that did not increase patient length of stay, and there were no catastrophic hemorrhages or strokes. There were also no abdominal complications related to shunt placement.

CONCLUSION: CPS is a viable alternative to VPS in PTC patients who have failed traditional shunting methods to give these patients a persistent benefit of a working shunt. The procedure provides this solution with low operative and perioperative morbidity.

Role of Resistivity Index Analysis in the Prediction of Hemodynamically Significant Venous Sinus Stenosis in Patients With Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 86:631–636, 2020

The resistivity index (RI) in cerebral venous sinus stenosis (VSS) has not been studied in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of RI measured by quantitative magnetic resonance venogram (QMRV) as a noninvasive tool in the diagnosis of venous hypertension associated with VSS in IIH.

METHODS:Retrospective evaluation of 13 consecutive IIH patients who underwent venous sinus stenting at our institution between 2013 and 2018. Patients’demographics, clinical presentation, cerebral mean venous sinus pressure (MVP), and RI both pre- and poststenting were recorded. The baseline RI was also compared to a control group.

RESULTS: Among 13 patients of IIH, 11 had unilateral VSS in dominant sinus, whereas 2 had bilateral VSS. RI was significantly higher in IIH patients compared to the control group in the superior sagittal (SSS) and transverse sinuses (TS) (0.21 vs 0.11, P=.01 and 0.22 vs 0.13, P=.03, respectively). The MVP (in mm Hg) decreased significantly after venous sinus stenting in the SSS (41.9 to 22.5, P < .001) and TS (39.4 to 19.5, P < .001), which was also associated with a significant reduction of the RI (0.22 vs 0.17, P < .01 in SSS and 0.23 vs 0.17, P = .03 in TS) poststenting.

CONCLUSION: RI calculated using QMRV can serve as a noninvasive tool to aid in the diagnosis of hemodynamically significant VSS. The study had a small sample size, and larger multicenter studies would be required to validate the results further.

Coupling of CSF and sagittal sinus pressure in adult patients with pseudotumour cerebri

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162: 1001–1009

Pseudotumour cerebri syndrome (PTCS including idiopathic intracranial hypertension) is characterised by the symptoms and signs of raised cerebrospinal fluid pressure (CSFp) in the absence of ventricular dilatation or an intracranial mass lesion. Its aetiology is unknown in the majority of cases but there is much evidence for impaired CSF absorption. Traditionally, sagittal sinus pressure has been considered to be independent of CSF pressure in adults. However, the discovery of stenoses of intracranial venous sinuses and introduction of venous sinus stenting has highlighted the importance of the venous drainage in PTCS. In this study, we have explored the relationship between CSFp and SSp before and during a CSF infusion test and during CSF drainage.

Materials and methods Ten patients (9 females:1 male) with PTCS underwent infusion studies in parallel with direct retrograde cerebral venography. Both SSp and CSFp were recorded at a baseline and during CSFp elevation in a course of a CSF infusion test. The drainage of CSF after the CSF infusion was performed in 7 patients. In 5 cases, jugular venous pressure was also measured.

Results CSFp and SSp including their amplitudes correlated significantly and strongly both at baseline (R = 0.96; p = 0.001) and during infusion (R = 0.92; p = 0.0026). During drainage, this correlation was maintained until SSp reached a stable value, whereas CSFp continued to decrease.

Conclusions In this series of ten patients with PTCS, CSFp and SSp were coupled, both at baseline and during infusion. The implications of such coupling for the calculation of CSF outflow resistance are discussed.

Telemetry in intracranial pressure monitoring: sensor survival and drift

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:21372144

Telemetric intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring enable long-term ICP monitoring on patients during normal day activities and may accordingly be of use during evaluation and treatment of complicated ICP disorders. However, the benefits of such equipment depend strongly on the validity of the recordings and how often the telemetric sensor needs to be re-implanted. This study investigates the clinical and technical sensor survival time and drift of the telemetric ICP sensor: Raumedic Neurovent-P-tel.

Methods Implanted telemetric ICP sensors in the period from January 2011 to December 2017 were identified, and medical records reviewed for complications, explantation reasons, and parameters relevant for determining clinical and technical sensor survival time. Explanted sensors were tested in an experimental setup to study baseline drift.

Results In total, implantation of 119 sensors were identified. Five sensors (4.2%) were explanted due to skin dResultsamage, three (2.5%) due to wound infection, and two (1.7%) due to ethylene oxide allergy. No other complications were observed. The median clinical sensor survival time was 208 days (95% CI 150–382). The median technical sensor survival time was 556 days (95% CI 382–605). Explanted sensors had a median baseline drift of 2.5 mmHg (IQR 2.0–5.5).

Conclusion In most cases, the ICP sensor provides reliable measurements beyond the approved implantation time of 90 days. Thus, the sensor should not be routinely removed after this period, if ICP monitoring is still indicated. However, some sensors showed technical malfunction prior to the CE-approval, underlining that caution should always be taken when analyzing telemetric ICP curves.

 

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: 120-day clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes after stent insertion into the dural venous sinus

J Neurosurg 129:723–731, 2018

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is commonly associated with venous sinus stenosis. In recent years, transvenous dural venous sinus stent (DVSS) insertion has emerged as a potential therapy for resistant cases. However, there remains considerable uncertainty over the safety and efficacy of this procedure, in particular the incidence of intraprocedural and delayed complications and in the longevity of sinus patency, pressure gradient obliteration, and therapeutic clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to determine clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes at 3–4 months after DVSS in this treated IIH cohort.

METHODS Clinical, radiographic, and manometric data before and 3–4 months after DVSS were reviewed in this single-center case series. All venographic and manometric procedures were performed under local anesthesia with the patient supine.

RESULTS Forty-one patients underwent DVSS venography/manometry within 120 days. Sinus pressure reduction of between 11 and 15 mm Hg was achieved 3–4 months after DVSS compared with pre-stent baseline, regardless of whether the procedure was primary or secondary (after shunt surgery). Radiographic obliteration of anatomical stenosis correlating with reduction in pressure gradients was observed. The complication rate after DVSS was 4.9% and stent survival was 87.8% at 120 days. At least 20% of patients developed restenosis following DVSS and only 63.3% demonstrated an improvement or resolution of papilledema.

CONCLUSIONS Reduced venous sinus pressures were observed at 120 days after the procedure. DVSS showed lower complication rates than shunts, but the clinical outcome data were less convincing. To definitively compare the outcomes between DVSS and shunts in IIH, a randomized prospective study is needed.

Effect of venous stenting on intracranial pressure in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1429–1437

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is characterised by an increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in the absence of any central nervous system disease or structural abnormality and by normal CSF composition. Management becomes complicated once surgical intervention is required. Venous sinus stenosis has been suggested as a possible aetiology for IIH. Venous sinus stenting has emerged as a possible interventional option. Evidence for venous sinus stenting is based on elimination of the venous pressure gradient and clinical response. There have been no studies demonstrating the immediate effect of venous stenting on ICP.

Methods Patients with a potential or already known diagnosis of IIH were investigated according to departmental protocol. ICP monitoring was performed for 24 h. When high pressures were confirmed, CT venogram and catheter venography were performed to look for venous stenosis to demonstrate a pressure gradient. If positive, venous stenting would be performed and ICP monitoring would continue for a further 24 h after deployment of the venous stent.

Results Ten patients underwent venous sinus stenting with concomitant ICP monitoring. Nine out of ten patients displayed an immediate reduction in their ICP that was maintained at 24 h. The average reduction in mean ICP and pulsatility was significant (p = 0.003). Six out of ten patients reported a symptomatic improvement within the first 2 weeks.

Conclusions Venous sinus stenting results in an immediate reduction in ICP. This physiological response to venous stenting has not previously been reported. Venous stenting could offer an alternative treatment option in correctly selected patients with IIH.

Predictors of admission and shunt revision during emergency department visits for shunt-treated adult patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension

J Neurosurg 127:233–239, 2017

Factors associated with emergency department admission and/or shunt revision for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are unclear. In this study, the associations of several factors with emergency department admission and shunt revision for IIH were explored.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of 31 patients (169 total emergency department visits) who presented to the emergency department for IIH-related symptoms between 2003 and 2015. Demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, IIH diagnosis and treatment history, ophthalmological examination, diagnostic lumbar puncture (LP), imaging findings, and data regarding admission and management decisions were collected. Multivariable general linear models regression analysis was performed to assess the predictive factors associated with admission and shunt revision.

RESULTS Thirty-one adult patients with a history of shunt placement for IIH visited the emergency department a total of 169 times for IIH-related symptoms, with a median of 3 visits (interquartile range 2–7 visits) per patient. Five patients had more than 10 emergency department visits. Baseline factors associated with admission included male sex (OR 10.47, 95% CI 2.13–51.56; p = 0.004) and performance of an LP (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.31–7.31; p = 0.01). Contrastingly, older age at presentation (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.99; p = 0.01), and a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.89–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against admission. The presence of papilledema (OR 11.62, 95% CI 3.20–42.16; p < 0.001), Caucasian race (OR 40.53, 95% CI 2.49–660.09 p = 0.009), and systemic hypertension (OR 7.73, 95% CI 1.11–53.62; p = 0.03) were independent risk factors for shunt revision. In addition, a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77–0.96; p = 0.009) and older age at presentation (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.87–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against shunt revision, while there was suggestive evidence that presence of a programmable shunt (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05–1.14; p = 0.07) was a protective factor against shunt revision. Of note, location of the proximal catheter in the ventricle or lumbar subarachnoid space was not significantly associated with admission or shunt revision in the multivariable analyses.

CONCLUSIONS The decision to admit a shunt-treated patient from the emergency department for symptoms related to IIH is challenging. Knowledge of factors associated with the need for admission and/or shunt revision is required. In this study, factors such as male sex, younger age at presentation, lower number of prior emergency department visits, and performance of a diagnostic LP were independent predictors of admission. In addition, papilledema was strongly predictive of the need for shunt revision, highlighting the importance of an ophthalmological examination for shunt-treated adults with IIH who present to the emergency department.

 

An update on idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:491–499

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is still a grey area in the knowledge of the aetiology, diagnosis and management of neurosurgical diseases. The definition of IIH has been reviewed over time and many hypotheses have been expressed as cause of the disease. The literature supplies very little evidence-based information to guide our decision-making process when it comes to treat the disease. In this review we sum up the latest information regarding the aetiology and therapy of IIH. Additionally, we make an attempt to unify the diagnostic criteria of Dandy, Friedman and Wall established from 1937 to date.

Method

In this narrative review, we attempt to update the current standpoint to IIH, evaluate the input until now and consider future directions for research. The vast majority of the literature consisted of cohort studies, case control studies, systematic reviews and other narrative reviews.

Results

Pathophysiology: The incidence of IIH is steadily in- creasing. Several pathophysiological theories have been pro- posed in the literature based on the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

Diagnosis: We attempt to fuse all the three diagnostic ap- proaches published in the literature that detect IIH, while pre- serving the individual characteristics of each approach.

Treatment:

Based on evidence-based trials, the current use of acetazolamide in comparison with placebo or with topiramate has been evaluated. In the interventions’ field, there seems to be a consonance about the alarming symptoms and what the most suitable operation is in each case. There is some disagreement about the indications for venous sinus transversus stenting and its risk/benefit ratio.

Conclusions

Until now there is no class I guideline to which our decision-making can be based on for the management of IIH. A lack of systematic reviews and randomised control trials has been noted. If we focused our research on that, we could develop a standardised treatment protocol.

 

Efficacy, complications and cost of surgical interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a systematic review of the literature

Acta Neurochirurgica 2017 (159) 33–49

To define the efficacy, complication profile and cost of surgical options for treating idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) with respect to the following endpoints: vision and headache improvement, normal CSF pressure restoration, papilloedema resolution, relapse rate, operative complications, cost of intervention and quality of life.

Methods

A systematic review of the surgical treatment of IIH was carried out. Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were systematically searched from 1985 to 2014 to identify all relevant manuscripts written in English. Additional studies were identified by searching the references of retrieved papers and relative narrative reviews.

Results

Forty-one (41) studies were included (36 case series and 5 case reports), totalling 728 patients. Three hundred forty-one patients were treated with optic nerve sheath fenestration (ONSF), 128 patients with lumboperitoneal shunting (LPS), 72 patients with ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS), 155 patients with venous sinus stenting and 32 patients with bariatric surgery. ONSF showed considerable efficacy in vision improvement, while CSF shunting had a superior headache response. Venous sinus stenting demonstrated satisfactory results in both vision and headache improvement along with the best complication profile and low relapse rate, but longer follow-up periods are needed. The complication rate of bariatric surgery was high when compared to other interventions and visual outcomes have not been reported adequately. ONSF had the lowest cost.

Conclusions

No surgical modality proved to be clearly superior to any other in IIH management. However, in certain contexts, a given approach appears more justified. Therefore, a treatment algorithm has been formulated, based on the extracted evidence of this review. The traditional treatment paradigm may need to be re-examined with sinus stenting as a first-line treatment modality.

Surgically managed idiopathic intracranial hypertension in adults

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:2099–2103

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a rare condition that is often managed conservatively. In patients with aggressive progression of the disease surgical options are considered. There are few data on the outcomes of these patients when surgically managed. We describe our experience of surgically managed IIH and the outcomes of these patients, in particular the surgical revision rate and interventions required for resolution of symptoms.

Methods A retrospective review of all patient files coded with benign intracranial hypertension, idiopathic intracranial hypertension or pseudotumour cerebri was undertaken. Files were searched with the date of diagnosis and the date these patients were referred for surgical intervention. The surgical interventions and complications were then documented and note was made of the number of inpatient admissions and days spent in hospital.

Results From 2000–2013, 79 patients were identified as patients with IIH that had required surgical intervention; 52 % required further surgical intervention. The average number of surgical interventions was 5.6. For patients requiring further intervention the average number of surgical interventions was 8.6. On average patients with IIH also spent 42 inpatient days in neurosurgical beds, whilst those patients who required further intervention spent 63 days on average in neurosurgical beds. The length of the average individual admission was longer for patients requiring repeated surgical interventions.

Conclusion Based on our experience, patients that require surgical management of IIH frequently require further surgical interventions to control symptoms and manage complications of CSF diversion surgery. Those that require such further intervention on average will have six further operations and spend significantly longer in hospital. Lumboperitoneal (LP) shunting is an effective first line surgical intervention for 52% of our patient cohort. This sub-group of patients therefore requires specialist neurosurgical input for this long-term and challenging pathological process.

Effect of postural changes on ICP in healthy and ill subjects

ICP

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:109–113

Reference values and physiological measurements of intracranial pressure (ICP) are primarily reported in the supine position, while reports of ICP in the vertical position are surprisingly rare considering that humans maintain the vertical position for the majority of the day. In order to distinguish normal human physiology from disease entities such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension and normal pressure hydrocephalus, we investigated ICP in different body postures in both normal and ill subjects.

Methods Thirty-one patients were included: four normal patients following complete removal of a solitary clearly demarcated small brain tumour and fitted with a telemetric ICP monitoring device for long-term ICP monitoring; 27 patients requiring invasive ICP monitoring as a part of their diagnostic work-up or monitoring of shunt treatment effect. ICP was recorded in the following body positions: upright standing, sitting in a chair, supine and right lateral lumbar puncture position.

Results Linear regression of median ICP based on patient posture, group, and purpose of monitoring presented a significant model (p<0.001), but could not distinguish between patient groups (p=0.88). Regression of differences in median ICP between body postures and supine ICP as the baseline, presented a highly significant model (p<0.001) and adjusted R2=0.86. Both body posture (p<0.001) and patient group (p<0.001) were highly significant factors.

Conclusions Differences in ICP between body postures enabled us to distinguish the normal group from patient groups. Normal patients appear able to more tightly regulate ICP when switching body postures.

Dural sinus stents for idiopathic intracranial hypertension

J Neurosurg 116:538–548, 2012. DOI: 10.3171/2011.10.JNS101410

The use of unilateral dural sinus stent placement in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) has been described by multiple investigators. To date there is a paucity of information on the angiographic and hemodynamic outcome of these procedures. The object of this study was to define the clinical, angiographic, and hemodynamic outcome of placement of unilateral dural sinus stents to treat intracranial venous hypertension in a subgroup of patients meeting the diagnostic criteria for IIH.

Methods. Eighteen consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of IIH were treated with unilateral stent placement in the transverse-sigmoid junction region. All patients had papilledema. All 12 female patients had headaches; 1 of 6 males had headaches previously that disappeared after weight loss. Seventeen patients had elevated opening pressures at lumbar puncture. Twelve patients had opening pressures of 33–55 cm H2O. All patients underwent diagnostic cerebral arteriography that showed venous outflow compromise by filling defects in the transverse-sigmoid junction region. All patients underwent intracranial selective venous pressure measurements across the filling defects. Follow-up arteriography was performed in 16 patients and follow-up venography/venous pressure measurements were performed in 15 patients.

Results. Initial pressure gradients across the filling defects ranged from 10.5 to 39 mm Hg. Nineteen stent procedures were performed in 18 patients. One patient underwent repeat stent placement for hemodynamic failure. Pressure gradients were reduced in every instance and ranged from 0 to 7 mm Hg after stenting. Fifteen of 16 patients in whom ophthalmological follow-up was performed experienced disappearance of papilledema. Follow-up arteriography in 16 patients at 5–99 months (mean 25.3 months, median 18.5 months) showed patency of all stents without in-stent restenosis. Two patients had filling defects immediately above the stent. Four other patients developed transverse sinus narrowing above the stent without filling defects. One of these patients underwent repeat stent placement because of hemodynamic deterioration. Two of the other 3 patients had hemodynamic deterioration with recurrent pressure gradients of 10.5 and 18 mm Hg.

Conclusions. All stents remained patent without restenosis. Stent placement is durable and successfully eliminates papilledema in appropriately selected patients. Continuing hemodynamic success in this series was 80%, and was 87% with repeat stent placement in 1 patient.

Efficacy of endovascular stenting in dural venous sinus stenosis for the treatment of idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Neurosurg Focus 27 (5):E14, 2009.DOI: 10.3171/2009.9.FOCUS09165


Multiple pathophysiological mechanisms have been proposed for the increased intracranial pressure observed in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The condition is well characterized, with intractable headaches, visual obscurations, and papilledema as dominant features, mainly affecting obese women. With the advent of MR venography and increased use of cerebral angiography, there has been recent emphasis on the significant number of patients with IIH found to have associated nonthrombotic dural venous sinus stenosis. This has led to a renewed interest in endovascular stenting as a treatment for IIH. However, the assumption that venous stenosis leads to a high pressure gradient that decreases CSF resorption through arachnoid villi requires further evidence.

In this paper, the authors analyze the published results to date of dural venous sinus stenting in patients with IIH. They also present a case from their institution for illustration.

The pathophysiological mechanism in IIH requires further elucidation, but venous sinus stenosis with subsequent intracranial hypertension appears to be an important mechanism in at least a subgroup of patients with IIH. Among these patients, 78% had complete relief or improvement of their main presenting symptoms after endovascular stenting.

Resolution or improvement in papilledema was seen in 85.1% of patients.

Endovascular stenting should be considered whenever venous sinus stenosis is diagnosed in patients with IIH.