European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1450–1458 | Cite as

Imaging of the entire cerebrospinal fluid volume with a multistation 3D SPACE MR sequence: feasibility study in patients with hydrocephalus

  • Jérôme Hodel
  • Alain Lebret
  • Eric Petit
  • Xavier Leclerc
  • Marc Zins
  • Alexandre Vignaud
  • Philippe Decq
  • Alain Rahmouni



To evaluate the feasibility of imaging the entire cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume using the SPACE MR sequence.


The SPACE sequence encompassing the brain and spine was performed at 1.5 T in 12 healthy volunteers and 26 consecutive patients with hydrocephalus. Image contrast was estimated using difference ratios in signal intensity between CSF and its background. Segmentation of CSF was performed using geometrical features and a topological assumption of CSF shapes. Subarachnoid and ventricular CSF space volumes were assessed in volunteers and patients and linear discriminant analysis was performed.


Image contrast was 0.94 between the CSF and the brain and 0.90 between the CSF and the spinal cord. According to the phantom study, the accuracy of CSF volume measurement was 98.5 %. A clear distinction between patients and healthy volunteers was obtained using the linear discriminant analysis. Significant linear regression was found in healthy volunteers between ventricular (Vv) and the whole subarachnoid CSF volume (Vs) with Vv = 0.083 Vs.


Imaging of the entire CSF volume is feasible in healthy volunteers and patients with hydrocephalus. CSF volume can be obtained on a whole-body scale. This approach may be of use for the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with hydrocephalus.

Key Points

MRI assessment of CSF volume is feasible in healthy volunteers/hydrocephalus patients.

CSF volume can be obtained on a whole-body scale.

The ratio of subarachnoid and ventricular CSF is constant in healthy volunteers.

CSF linear discriminant analysis can distinguish between patients and healthy volunteers.

Entire CSF volume imaging is useful for diagnosing and following hydrocephalus.


Cerebrospinal fluid Hydrocephalus Magnetic resonance imaging Whole body imaging SPACE MR sequence 

Abbreviations and acronyms


Cerebrospinal fluid


Non-communicating hydrocephalus


Communicating hydrocephalus


Sampling perfection with application optimised contrast using different flip-angle evolution



The authors thank Iwona M’Kenzie Hall for her editorial assistance.

Alexandre Vignaud is an employee of Siemens.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérôme Hodel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alain Lebret
    • 4
  • Eric Petit
    • 4
  • Xavier Leclerc
    • 2
  • Marc Zins
    • 3
  • Alexandre Vignaud
    • 5
  • Philippe Decq
    • 6
  • Alain Rahmouni
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of NeuroradiologyHôpital Henri MondorCréteilFrance
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyHôpital Roger SalengroLilleFrance
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyHôpital Saint JosephParisFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Images Signaux et Systèmes IntelligentsUniversité Paris XIICréteilFrance
  5. 5.Siemens HealthcareSaint DenisFrance
  6. 6.Department of NeurosurgeryHôpital Henri MondorCréteilFrance
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyHôpital Henri MondorCréteilFrance

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