BACKGROUND: A lumbar infusion test is commonly used as a predictive test for patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus and for evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt function. Different infusion protocols can be used to estimate the outflow conductance (Cout) or its reciprocal the outflow resistance, (Rout) with or without using the baseline resting pressure, Pr. Both from a basic physiological research and a clinical perspective, it is important to understand the limitations of the model on which infusion tests are based. By estimating Cout using two different analyses, with or without Pr, the limitations could be explored. The aim of this study was to compare the Cout estimates, and investigate what effect Pr had on the results.
METHODS: Sixty-three patients that underwent a constant pressure infusion protocol as part of their preoperative evaluation for normal pressure hydrocephalus, were included (age 70.3+/-10.8 years (mean +/-SD). The analysis was performed without (Cexcl Pr) and with (Cincl Pr) Pr. The estimates were compared using Bland-Altman plots and paired sample t-tests (p<0.05 considered significant).
RESULTS: Mean Cout for the 63 patients was: Cexcl Pr = 7.0+/-4.0 (mean +/-SD) ul/(s kPa) and Cincl Pr = 9.1+/-4.3 ul/(s kPa) and Rout was 19.0+/-9.2 and 17.7+/-11.3 mmHg/ml/min, respectively. There was a positive correlation between methods (r=0.79, n=63, p<0.01). The difference, DeltaCout, -2.1+/-2.7 ul/(s kPa) between methods was significant (p<0.01) and DeltaRout was 1.2 +/- 8.8 mmHg/ml/min). The Bland-Altman plot visualized that the variation around the mean difference was similar all through the range of measured values and there was no correlation between DeltaCout and Cout.
CONCLUSIONS: The difference between Cout estimates, obtained from analyses with or without Pr, needs to be taken into consideration when comparing results from studies using different infusion test protocols. The study suggests variation in CSF formation rate, variation in venous pressure or a pressure dependent Cout as possible causes for the deviation from the CSF absorption model seen in some patients.
2011. Vol. 8, no 1, 15- p.