Background: B waves, slow and rhythmic oscillations in intracranial pressure (ICP), are claimed to be one of the best predictors of outcome after surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).
Object: To determine the relation between the percentage of B waves and outcome in patients with hydrocephalus, and also the diurnal variation of B waves.
Methods: ICP and patient behaviour were recorded overnight (17 to 26 hours) in 29 patients with non-communicating hydrocephalus and 26 with NPH. The B wave activity, measured with an amplitude threshold of 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, and 5.0 mm Hg, was estimated as the percentage of total monitoring time (% B waves) using a computer algorithm, and correlated with postoperative outcome, defined as changes in 12 standardised symptoms and signs.
Results: There was no linear correlation between improvement after surgery in the 55 patients and total % B waves, but a correlation was found between improvement and % B waves during sleep (r = 0.39, p = 0.04). The percentage of B waves was the same during sleep and wakefulness, and patients with NPH had the same proportion of B waves as the non-communicating patients.
Conclusions: B waves are commonly observed in patients with both communicating and non-communicating hydrocephalus, but are only weakly related to the degree of postsurgical improvement.
BMJ Publishing Group , 2005. Vol. 76, 965-970 p.
normal-pressure hydrocephalus; endoscopic 3rd ventriculostomy; cerebrospinal-fluid pressure; primary aqueductal stenosis; arterial-blood pressure; intracranial-pressure; oscillations; outflow; cisternography; resistance