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Recent Advances in Rational Diagnosis and Treatment of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: A Critical Appraisal on Novel Diagnostic, Therapy Monitoring and Treatment Modalities

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 10 ]


Lei Zhang, Zahid Hussain and Zhuanqin Ren*   Pages 1041 - 1057 ( 17 )


Background: Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a critical brain disorder in which excess Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is accumulated in the brain’s ventricles causing damage or disruption of the brain tissues. Amongst various signs and symptoms, difficulty in walking, slurred speech, impaired decision making and critical thinking, and loss of bladder and bowl control are considered the hallmark features of NPH.

Objective: The current review was aimed to present a comprehensive overview and critical appraisal of majorly employed neuroimaging techniques for rational diagnosis and effective monitoring of the effectiveness of the employed therapeutic intervention for NPH. Moreover, a critical overview of recent developments and utilization of pharmacological agents for the treatment of hydrocephalus has also been appraised.

Results: Considering the complications associated with the shunt-based surgical operations, consistent monitoring of shunting via neuroimaging techniques hold greater clinical significance. Despite having extensive applicability of MRI and CT scan, these conventional neuroimaging techniques are associated with misdiagnosis or several health risks to patients. Recent advances in MRI (i.e., Sagittal-MRI, coronal-MRI, Time-SLIP (time-spatial-labeling-inversion-pulse), PC-MRI and diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI)) have shown promising applicability in the diagnosis of NPH. Having associated with several adverse effects with surgical interventions, non-invasive approaches (pharmacological agents) have earned greater interest of scientists, medical professional, and healthcare providers. Amongst pharmacological agents, diuretics, isosorbide, osmotic agents, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, glucocorticoids, NSAIDs, digoxin, and gold-198 have been employed for the management of NPH and prevention of secondary sensory/intellectual complications.

Conclusion: Employment of rational diagnostic tool and therapeutic modalities avoids misleading diagnosis and sophisticated management of hydrocephalus by efficient reduction of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) production, reduction of fibrotic and inflammatory cascades secondary to meningitis and hemorrhage, and protection of brain from further deterioration.


Hydrocephalus, diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging, therapeutic modalities, corticosteroids, isosorbide mononitrate.


Department of Radiology, Baoji Center Hospital, Baoji, Shaanxi, Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Selangor, Puncak Alam Campus, Bandar Puncak Alam 42300, Selangor, Department of Radiology, Baoji Center Hospital, No. 8 Jiang Tan Road, Baoji 721008, Shaanxi

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