Systematic volumetric analysis predicts response to CSF drainage and outcome to shunt surgery in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Dan Wu, Abhay Moghekar, Wen Shi, Ari M Blitz, Susumu Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, which can be diagnosed by invasive CSF drainage test and treated by shunt placement. Here, we aim to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic power of systematic volumetric analysis based on brain structural MRI for INPH. Methods: We performed a retrospective study with a cohort of 104 probable INPH patients who underwent CSF drainage tests and another cohort of 41 INPH patients who had shunt placement. High-resolution T1-weighted images of the patients were segmented using an automated pipeline into 283 structures that are grouped into different granularity levels for volumetric analysis. Volumes at multi-granularity levels were used in a recursive feature elimination model to classify CSF drainage responders and non-responders. We then used pre-surgical brain volumes to predict Tinetti and MMSE scores after shunting, based on the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator. Results: The classification accuracy of differentiating the CSF drainage responders and non-responders increased as the granularity increased. The highest diagnostic accuracy was achieved at the finest segmentation with a sensitivity/specificity/precision/accuracy of 0.89/0.91/0.84/0.90 and an area under the curve of 0.94. The predicted post-surgical neurological scores showed high correlations with the ground truth, with r = 0.80 for Tinetti and r = 0.88 for MMSE. The anatomical features that played important roles in the diagnostic and prognostic tasks were also illustrated. Conclusions: We demonstrated that volumetric analysis with fine segmentation could reliably differentiate CSF drainage responders from other INPH-like patients, and it could accurately predict the neurological outcomes after shunting. Key Points: • We performed a fully automated segmentation of brain MRI at multiple granularity levels for systematic volumetric analysis of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) patients. • We were able to differentiate patients that responded to CSF drainage test with an accuracy of 0.90 and area under the curve of 0.94 in a cohort of 104 probable INPH patients, as well as to predict the post-shunt gait and cognitive scores with a coefficient of 0.80 for Tinetti and 0.88 for MMSE. • Feature analysis showed the inferior lateral ventricle, bilateral hippocampus, and orbital cortex are positive indicators of CSF drainage responders, whereas the posterior deep white matter and parietal subcortical white matter were negative predictors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4972-4980
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Algorithm
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Normal pressure
  • Segmentation
  • Volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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