Quantitative evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid shunt flow

S. Chervu, L. R. Chervu, B. Vallabhajosyula, D. M. Milstein, K. M. Shapiro, K. Shulman, M. D. Blaufox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We describe a rigorous method for measuring the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in shunt circuits implanted for the relief of obstructive hydrocephalus. Clearance of radioactivity for several calibrated flow rates was determined with a Harvard infusion pump by injecting the Rickham reservoir of a Rickham-Holter valve system with 100 μCi of Tc-99m as pertechnetate. The elliptical and the cylindrical Holter valves used as adjunct values with the Rickham reservoir yielded two different regression lines when the clearances were plotted against flow rates. The experimental regression lines were used to determine the in vivo flow rates from clearances calculated after injecting the Rickham reservoirs of the patients. The unique clearance characteristics of the individual shunt systems available requires that calibration curves be derived for an entire system identical to one implanted in the patient being evaluated, rather than just the injected chamber. Excellent correlation between flow rates and the clinical findings supports the reliability of this method of quantification of CSF shunt flow, and the results are fully accepted by our neurosurgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 22 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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