Assessment of intracranial pressure volume relationships in childhood: the lumbar infusion test versus intracranial pressure monitoring
Servo-controlled variable-rate lumbar infusions were performed in 11 children with presumed cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) absorptive defects. The CSF dynamics were determined as a function of intracranial pressure in terms of CSF absorptive capacity and resting pressure. These physiological measurements showed poor correlation with traditional clinical signs. On the basis of the CSF measurements there were four children with arrested hydrocephalus, one with compensated hydrocephalus, three with active hydrocephalus, and three with brain atrophy. Retrospective management decisions based on the clinical presentations, physical findings, and traditional diagnostic tests disagreed with management as indicated by the CSF measurements in eight of 11 cases. It is suggested that this technique may be a useful diagnostic tool for difficult clinical problems.