Vol 54, No 6 (2020)
Research Paper
Published online: 2020-10-12

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In NPH, setting valve opening pressure close to lumbar puncture opening pressure decreases overdrainage

Tito Vivas-Buitrago1, Ricardo Domingo1, Shashwat Tripathi2, Juan Pablo Herrera1, Johan Heemskerk1, Sanjeet Grewal1, Nicholas L. Zalewski1, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa1, Ronald Reimer1, Robert E. Wharen1, Neil R. Graff-Radford1
Pubmed: 33047786
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2020;54(6):531-537.


Background. The management of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) can be difficult, partly because there are frequent treatment complications such as overdrainage which, when serious, may require surgical intervention. We previously reported a correlation between the difference of lumbar puncture opening pressure minus the valve opening pressure setting (LPOP–VOP) (which we refer to as the delta) and increased rates of overdrainage. This led to a modification in our practice, whereby we now set the VOP equal to, or close to, the LPOP, resulting in lower deltas. Objective. In this new study, our aim was to compare the rate of overdrainage in our patients with higher and lower deltas and assess the significance of setting the VOP equal, or close, to the patient’s LPOP. Methods. 1. We reproduced the association between delta and overdrainage. 2. We compared the incidence of overdrainage in those whose VOP was set close to LPOP (low delta) versus those with VOP setting distant from the LPOP (higher delta). 3. We compared symptom improvement in those with a low versus higher delta. Results. We confirmed the relation between high delta and an increased rate of overdrainage, lower rates of overdrainage in those whose VOP was set close to the LPOP (Delta Adjusted Practice), and better improvement of symptoms when the VOP was set closer to the LPOP. Conclusion. We propose that the initial VOP should be set as close as possible to the patient’s LPOP to decrease overdrainage without compromising symptom improvement.

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