Lower Breakpoint of Intracranial Amplitude-Pressure Relationship in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Zofia H. Czosnyka, Afroditi D. Lalou, Eva Nabbanja, Matthew Garnett, Nicole C. Keong, Eric A. Schmidt, D. J. Kim, Marek Czosnyka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The relationship between intracranial pulse amplitude (AMP) and mean intracranial pressure (ICP) has been previously described. Generally, AMP increases proportionally to rises in ICP. However, at low ICP a lower breakpoint (LB) of amplitude-pressure relationship can be observed, below which pulse amplitude stays constant when ICP varies. Theoretically, below this breakpoint, the pressure-volume relationship is linear (good compensatory reserve, brain compliance stays constant); above the breakpoint, it is exponential (brain compliance decreases with rising ICP). Infusion tests performed in 169 patients diagnosed for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) during the period 2004–2013 were available for analysis. A lower breakpoint was observed in 62 patients diagnosed for iNPH. Improvement after shunt surgery in patients in whom LB was recorded was 77% versus 90% in patients where LB was absent (p < 0.02). There was no correlation between improvement and slope of amplitude-pressure line above LB. The detection of a lower breakpoint is associated with less frequent improvement after shunting in NPH. It may be interpreted that cerebrospinal fluid dynamics of patients working on the flat part of the pressure-volume curve and having a ‘luxurious’ compensatory reserve, are more frequently caused by brain atrophy, which is obviously not responding to shunting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
ISSN (Print)0065-1419
ISSN (Electronic)2197-8395

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Hydrocephalus
  • Infusion test
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Pulse amplitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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