A pilot study of quantitative MRI measurements of ventricular volume and cortical atrophy for the differential diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Current radiologic diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) requires a subjective judgment of whether lateral ventricular enlargement is disproportionate to cerebral atrophy based on visual inspection of brain images. We investigated whether quantitative measurements of lateral ventricular volume and total cortical thickness (a correlate of cerebral atrophy) could be used to more objectively distinguish NPH from normal controls (NC), Alzheimer's (AD), and Parkinson's disease (PD). Volumetric MRIs were obtained prospectively from patients with NPH (n = 5), PD (n = 5), and NC (5). Additional NC (n = 5) and AD patients (n = 10) from the ADNI cohort were examined. Although mean ventricular volume was significantly greater in the NPH group than all others, the range of values overlapped those of the AD group. Individuals with NPH could be better distinguished when ventricular volume and total cortical thickness were considered in combination. This pilot study suggests that volumetric MRI measurements hold promise for improving NPH differential diagnosis.