Corpus callosal signal changes in patients with obstructive hydrocephalus after ventriculoperitoneal shunting

J. I. Lane, P. H. Luetmer, J. L. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Few reports have documented signal abnormalities within the corpus callosum on MR studies obtained after ventricular decompression in patients with hydrocephalus. Our purpose was to establish the frequency of this finding in shunted patients and attempt to elucidate its cause and clinical significance. METHODS: All patients with hydrocephalus shunted between 1989 and 1999 with postoperative MR studies available for review were included in the study group. Imaging analysis consisted of documenting hypointense signal on T1-weighted sagittal images and hyperintense signal on double-echo T2-weighted axial images within the corpus callosum. RESULTS: Characteristic signal abnormalities in the corpus callosum were noted in nine of 161 patients with shunted hydrocephalus studied with MR imaging. All nine patients were asymptomatic in regard to these MR findings. Comparison with preoperative scans and surgical records revealed that all patients with signal changes on postshunt scans had chronic obstructive hydrocephalus at presentation. Preshunt MR images were notable for marked elevation of the corpus callosum, which subsequently descended after ventricular decompression, suggesting that the cause of the signal changes was related to compression of the corpus callosum against the rigid falx. CONCLUSION: Signal abnormalities within the corpus callosum after ventricular shunting for obstructive hydrocephalus are not uncommon and are probably produced by compression of the corpus callosum against the falx before ventricular decompression. This distinctive appearance should not be mistaken for significant disease. Recognition of this pattern of signal abnormality will help avoid unnecessary intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume22
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 8 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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