Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To prospectively estimate the mean axon diameter (MAD) and extracellular space of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) before and after a lumboperitoneal (LP) shunting operation using q-space diffusion MRI analysis. METHODS: We studied 12 consecutive patients with iNPH and 12 controls at our institution. After conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), q-space image (QSI) data were acquired with a 3-T MRI scanner. The MAD and extra-axonal space of the PLIC before and after LP shunting were calculated using two-component q-space imaging analyses; the before and after values were compared. RESULTS: After LP shunt surgery, the extracellular space of the PLIC was significantly higher than that of the same patients before the operation (one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Scheffé's post-hoc test, P = 0.024). No significant differences were observed in the PLIC axon diameters among normal controls or in patients before and after surgery. CONCLUSION: Increases in the root mean square displacement in the extra-axonal space of the PLIC in patients with iNPH after an LP shunt procedure are associated with the microstructural changes of white matter and subsequent abatement of patient symptoms. KEY POINTS: • Q-space diffusion MRI provides information on microstructural changes in the corticospinal tract • Lumboperitoneal (LP) shunting operation is useful for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus • Q-space measurement may be a biomarker for the effect of the LP shunt procedure.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Radiol

Publication Date





2992 - 2998


Axon diameter, Diffusion MRI, Idiopathic NPH, Lumboperitoneal shunt, Q-space imaging, Aged, Axons, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Female, Humans, Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure, Internal Capsule, Male, Prospective Studies, Pyramidal Tracts