Change in Morphological Features of Enlarged Subarachnoid Spaces Following Treatment in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Emanuele Camerucci, Jonathan Graff-Radford, David T. Jones, Benjamin D. Elder, Jeffrey L. Gunter, Jeremy K. Cutsforth-Gregory, Hugo Botha, Matthew C. Murphy, Derek R. Johnson, Caroline Davidge-Pitts, Clifford R. Jack, John Huston, Petrice M. Cogswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Focally enlarged sulci (FES) are areas of proposed extraventricular fluid entrapment that may occur within idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) with radiographic evidence of disproportionately enlarged subarachnoid-space hydrocephalus (DESH), and should be differentiated from atrophy. Purpose: To evaluate for change in FES size and pituitary height after shunt placement in iNPH. Study type: Retrospective. Subjects: A total of 125 iNPH patients who underwent shunt surgery and 40 age-matched controls. Field Strength/Sequence: 1.5 T and 3 T. Axial T2w FLAIR, 3D T1w MPRAGE, 2D sagittal T1w. Assessment: FES were measured in three dimensions and volume was estimated by assuming an ellipsoid shape. Pituitary gland height was measured in the mid third of the gland in iNPH patients and controls. Statistical tests: Wilcoxon signed-rank test for comparisons between MRI measurements; Wilcoxon rank sum test for comparison of cases/controls. Significance level was P < 0.05. Results: Fifty percent of the patients had FES. FES volume significantly decreased between the pre and first postshunt MRI by a median of 303 mm3 or 30.0%. Pituitary gland size significantly increased by 0.48 mm or 14.4%. FES decreased significantly by 190 mm3 or 23.1% and pituitary gland size increased significantly by 0.25 mm or 6% between the first and last postshunt MRI. Data Conclusion: Decrease in size of FES after shunt placement provides further evidence that these regions are due to disordered cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics and should not be misinterpreted as atrophy. A relatively smaller pituitary gland in iNPH patients that normalizes after shunt is a less-well recognized feature of altered CSF dynamics. Evidence Level: 3. Technical Efficacy: Stage 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1450
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • DESH features
  • NPH
  • focally enlarged sulci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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