Rofo 2017; 189(08): 728-739
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-108550
Review
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus in Adults

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Sönke Langner
1  Institute for Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, Universitymedicine Greifswald
,
Steffen Fleck
2  Department of Neurosurgery, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
,
Jörg Baldauf
2  Department of Neurosurgery, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
,
Birger Mensel
1  Institute for Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, Universitymedicine Greifswald
,
Jens Peter Kühn
1  Institute for Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, Universitymedicine Greifswald
,
Michael Kirsch
1  Institute for Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, Universitymedicine Greifswald
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

19 December 2016

15 March 2017

Publication Date:
16 May 2017 (online)

Dedication

Professor Hosten on the occasion of his 60th birthday

Abstract

Purpose Hydrocephalus is caused by an imbalance of production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or obstruction of its pathways, resulting in ventricular dilatation and increased intracranial pressure. Imaging plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and planning of treatment.

Methods This review article presents the different types of hydrocephalus und their typical imaging appearance, describes imaging techniques, and discusses differential diagnoses of the different forms of hydrocephalus.

Results and Conclusion Imaging plays a central role in the diagnosis of hydrocephalus. While magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the first-line imaging modality, computed tomography (CT) is often the first-line imaging test in emergency patients.

Key points

  • Occlusive hydrocephalus is caused by obstruction of CSF pathways.

  • Malabsorptive hydrocephalus is caused by impaired CSF absorption.

  • The MR imaging protocol should always include sagittal high-resolution T2-weighted images.

  • When an inflammatory etiology is suspected, imaging with contrast agent administration is necessary.

Citation Format

  • Langner S, Fleck S, Baldauf J et al. Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus in Adults. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 189: 728 – 739