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Per Kristian Eide

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to examine how pulsatile and static intracranial pressure (ICP) scores correlate with indices of intracranial pressure-volume reserve capacity, i.e., intracranial elastance (ICE) and intracranial compliance (ICC), as determined during ventricular infusion testing.

METHODS

All patients undergoing ventricular infusion testing and overnight ICP monitoring during the 6-year period from 2007 to 2012 were included in the study. Clinical data were retrieved from a quality registry, and the ventricular infusion pressure data and ICP scores were retrieved from a pressure database. The ICE and ICC (= 1/ICE) were computed during the infusion phase of the infusion test.

RESULTS

During the period from 2007 to 2012, 82 patients with possible treatment-dependent hydrocephalus underwent ventricular infusion testing within the department of neurosurgery. The infusion tests revealed a highly significant positive correlation between ICE and the pulsatile ICP scores mean wave amplitude (MWA) and rise-time coefficient (RTC), and the static ICP score mean ICP. The ICE was negatively associated with linear measures of ventricular size. The overnight ICP recordings revealed significantly increased MWA (> 4 mm Hg) and RTC (> 20 mm Hg/sec) values in patients with impaired ICC (< 0.5 ml/mm Hg).

CONCLUSIONS

In this study cohort, there was a significant positive correlation between pulsatile ICP and ICE measured during ventricular infusion testing. In patients with impaired ICC during infusion testing (ICC < 0.5 ml/mm Hg), overnight ICP recordings showed increased pulsatile ICP (MWA > 4 mm Hg, RTC > 20 mm Hg/sec), but not increased mean ICP (< 10–15 mm Hg). The present data support the assumption that pulsatile ICP (MWA and RTC) may serve as substitute markers of pressure-volume reserve capacity, i.e., ICE and ICC.

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Per Kristian Eide and Tryggve Lundar

Arne Torkildsen was a pioneering Norwegian neurosurgeon who introduced the ventriculocisternal shunt, the first clinically successful shunt for CSF diversion in hydrocephalus. The procedure, usually referred to as ventriculocisternostomy (VCS), Torkildsen’s operation, orTorkildsen’s shunt, became internationally recognized as an efficient operation for the treatment of noncommunicating hydrocephalus. The operation gained widespread use in the 1940s and 1950s before the introduction of extracranial shunts. In this paper, the authors look more closely at Torkildsen’s development of the VCS and examine how this surgical approach differed from other procedures for treating hydrocephalus before World War II. Long-term results of the VCS are presented.

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Terje Sæhle and Per Kristian Eide

OBJECT

In patients with hydrocephalus and shunts, lasting symptoms such as headache and dizziness may be indicative of shunt failure, which may necessitate shunt revision. In cases of doubt, the authors monitor intracranial pressure (ICP) to determine the presence of over- or underdrainage of CSF to tailor management. In this study, the authors reviewed their experience of ICP monitoring in shunt failure. The aims of the study were to identify the complications and impact of ICP monitoring, as well as to determine the mean ICP and characteristics of the cardiac-induced ICP waves in pediatric versus adult over- and underdrainage.

METHODS

The study population included all pediatric and adult patients with hydrocephalus and shunts undergoing diagnostic ICP monitoring for tentative shunt failure during the 10-year period from 2002 to 2011. The patients were allocated into 3 groups depending on how they were managed following ICP monitoring: no drainage failure, overdrainage, or underdrainage. While patients with no drainage failure were managed conservatively without further actions, over- or underdrainage cases were managed with shunt revision or shunt valve adjustment. The ICP and ICP wave scores were determined from the continuous ICP waveforms.

RESULTS

The study population included 71 pediatric and 75 adult patients. There were no major complications related to ICP monitoring, but 1 patient was treated for a postoperative superficial wound infection and another experienced a minor bleed at the tip of the ICP sensor. Following ICP monitoring, shunt revision was performed in 74 (51%) of 146 patients, while valve adjustment was conducted in 17 (12%) and conservative measures without any actions in 55 (38%). Overdrainage was characterized by a higher percentage of episodes with negative mean ICP less than −5 to −10 mm Hg. The ICP wave scores, in particular the mean ICP wave amplitude (MWA), best differentiated underdrainage. Neither mean ICP nor MWA levels showed any significant association with age.

CONCLUSIONS

In this cohort of pediatric and adult patients with hydrocephalus and tentative shunt failure, the risk of ICP monitoring was very low, and helped the authors avoid shunt revision in 49% of the patients. Mean ICP best differentiated overdrainage, which was characterized by a higher percentage of episodes with negative mean ICP less than −5 to −10 mm Hg. Underdrainage was best characterized by elevated MWA values, indicative of impaired intracranial compliance.

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Radek Frič and Per Kristian Eide

OBJECTIVE

Several lines of evidence suggest common pathophysiological mechanisms in Chiari malformation Type I (CMI) and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). It has been hypothesized that tonsillar ectopy, a typical finding in CMI, is the result of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) combined with a developmentally small posterior cranial fossa (PCF). To explore this hypothesis, the authors specifically investigated whether ICP is comparable in CMI and IIH and whether intracranial volumes (ICVs) are different in patients with CMI and IIH, which could explain the tonsillar ectopy in CMI. The authors also examined whether the symptom profile is comparable in these 2 patient groups.

METHODS

The authors identified all CMI and IIH patients who had undergone overnight diagnostic ICP monitoring during the period from 2002 to 2014 and reviewed their clinical records and radiological examinations. Ventricular CSF volume (VV), PCF volume (PCFV), and total ICV were calculated from initial MRI studies by using volumetric software. The static and pulsatile ICP scores during overnight monitoring were analyzed. Furthermore, the authors included a reference (REF) group consisting of patients who had undergone ICP monitoring due to suspected idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus or chronic daily headache and showed normal pressure values.

RESULTS

Sixty-six patients with CMI and 41 with IIH were identified, with comparable demographics noted in both groups. The occurrence of some symptoms (headache, nausea, and/or vomiting) was comparable between the cohorts. Dizziness and gait ataxia were significantly more common in patients with CMI, whereas visual symptoms, diplopia, and tinnitus were significantly more frequent in patients with IIH. The cranial volume measurements (VV, PCFV, and ICV) of the CMI and IIH patients were similar. Notably, 7.3% of the IIH patients had tonsillar descent qualifying for diagnosis of CMI (that is, > 5 mm). The extent of tonsillar ectopy was significantly different between the CMI and IIH cohorts (p < 0.001) but also between these 2 cohorts and the REF group. Pulsatile ICP was elevated in both cohorts without any significant between-group differences; however, static ICP was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the IIH group.

CONCLUSIONS

This study showed comparable and elevated pulsatile ICP, indicative of impaired intracranial compliance, in both CMI and IIH cohorts, while static ICP was higher in the IIH cohort. The data did not support the hypothesis that reduced PCFV combined with increased ICP causes tonsillar ectopy in CMI. Even though impaired intracranial compliance seems to be a common pathophysiological mechanism behind both conditions, the mechanisms explaining the different clinical and radiological presentations of CMI and IIH remain undefined.

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Geir Ringstad, Kyrre Eeg Emblem and Per Kristian Eide

OBJECT

The objective of this study was to assess the net aqueductal stroke volume (ASV) and CSF aqueductal flow rate derived from phase-contrast MRI (PC-MRI) in patients with probable idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) before and after ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery, and to compare observations with intracranial pressure (ICP) scores.

METHODS

PC-MRI at the level of the sylvian aqueduct was undertaken in patients undergoing assessment for probable iNPH. Aqueductal flow in the craniocaudal direction was defined as positive, or antegrade flow, and net ASV was calculated by subtracting retrograde from antegrade aqueductal flow. Aqueductal flow rate per minute was calculated by multiplying net ASV by heart rate. During the same hospital admission, clinical examination was performed using NPH score and overnight continuous ICP monitoring. Twelve patients were followed prospectively 12 months after shunt placement with clinical assessment and a second PC-MRI. The study also included 2 healthy controls.

RESULTS

Among 21 patients examined for iNPH, 17 (81%) received a shunt (shunt group), and 4 were treated conservatively (conservative group). Among the patients with shunts, a clinical improvement was observed in 16 (94%) of the 17. Net ASV was negative in 16 (76%) of 21 patients before shunt placement and in 5 (42%) of 12 patients after shunt placement, and increased from a median of −5 μl (range −175 to 27 μl) to a median of 1 μl (range −61 to 30 μl; p = 0.04). Among the 12 patients with PC-MRI after shunt placement, 11 were shunt responders, and in 9 of these 11 either a reduced magnitude of retrograde aqueductal flow, or a complete reversal from retrograde to antegrade flow, occurred. Net ASV was significantly lower in the shunt group than in the conservative group (p = 0.01). The aqueductal flow rate increased from −0.56 ml/min (range −12.78 to 0.58 ml/min) to 0.06 ml/min (range −4.51 to 1.93 ml/min; p = 0.04) after shunt placement.

CONCLUSIONS

In this cohort of patients with iNPH, retrograde net aqueductal flow was observed in 16 (76%) of 21 patients. It was reversed toward the antegrade direction after shunt placement either by magnitude or completely in 9 (75%) of 12 patients examined using PC-MRI both before and after shunt placement (p = 0.04); 11 of the 12 were shunt responders. The study results question previously established concepts with respect to both CSF circulation pathways and CSF formation rate.

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Dan Farahmand, Terje Sæhle, Per Kristian Eide, Magnus Tisell, Per Hellström and Carsten Wikkelsö

OBJECT

The study aim was to examine the effect of gradually reducing the opening pressure on symptoms and signs in the shunt treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH).

METHODS

In this prospective double-blinded, randomized, controlled, double-center study on patients with iNPH, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt with an adjustable Codman Medos Valve was implanted in 68 patients randomized into 2 groups. In 1 group (the 20–4 group) the valve setting was initially set to 20 cm H2O and gradually reduced to 4 cm H2O over the course of the 6-month study period. In the other group (the 12 group), the valve was kept at a medium level of 12 cm H2O during the whole study period. All patients were clinically evaluated using 4 tests preoperatively as well as postoperatively at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 months. The test scores between the 2 groups (20–4 and 12) were compared for each clinical evaluation.

RESULTS

Fifty-five patients (81%) were able to complete the study. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups (20–4 and 12) preoperatively or at any time postoperatively. Both groups exhibited significant clinical improvement after shunt insertion at all valve settings compared with the preoperative score, with the greatest improvement observed at the first postoperative evaluation. The clinical improvement was significant within the first 3 months, and thereafter no significant improvement was seen in either group.

CONCLUSIONS

Gradual reduction of the valve setting from 20 to 4 cm H2O did not improve outcome compared with a fixed valve setting of 12 cm H2O. Improvement after shunt surgery in iNPH patients was evident within 3 months, irrespective of valve setting.

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Terje Sæhle, Dan Farahmand, Per Kristian Eide, Magnus Tisell and Carsten Wikkelsö

Object

This study was undertaken to investigate whether a gradual reduction of the valve setting (opening pressure) decreases the complication rate in patients with idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) treated with a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.

Methods

In this prospective double-blinded, randomized, controlled, dual-center study, a VP shunt with an adjustable valve was implanted in 68 patients with iNPH, randomized into two groups. In one group (the 20–4 group) the valve setting was initially set to 20 cm H2O and gradually reduced to 4 cm H2O over the course of the 6-month study period. In the other group (the 12 group), the valve was kept at a medium pressure setting of 12 cm H2O during the whole study period. The time to and type of complications (hematoma, infection, and mechanical problems) as well as overdrainage symptoms were recorded. Symptoms, signs, and outcome were assessed by means of the iNPH scale and the NPH grading scale.

Results

Six patients in the 20–4 group (22%) and 7 patients in the 12 group (23%) experienced a shunt complication; 9 had subdural hematomas, 3 mechanical obstructions, and 1 infection (no significant difference between groups). The frequency of overdrainage symptoms was significantly higher for a valve setting ≤ 12 cm H2O compared with a setting > 12 cm H2O. The 20–4 group had a higher improvement rate (88%) than the 12 group (62%) (p = 0.032). There was no significant relationship between complications and body mass index, the use of an antisiphon device, or the use of anticoagulants.

Conclusions

Gradual lowering of the valve setting to a mean of 7 cm H2O led to the same rate of shunt complications and overdrainage symptoms as a fixed valve setting at a mean of 13 cm H2O but was associated with a significantly better outcome.