Hydrocephalus (HC) caused by blockade of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathways is denoted non-communicating HC. One issue not previously addressed is how the prevalence of cardiovascular disease compares between patients with non-communicating HC and the general population.
We examined whether the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (arterial hypertension, angina pectoris, cardiac infarction, and diabetes) differed between cases with non-communicating HC and a general control population, represented by participants of the North-Trøndelag Health 3 Survey (The HUNT3 Survey). A second control group consisted of patients with communicating hydrocephalus (idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, iNPH).
The study included 50 cases with non-communicating HC (53.4+10.5years), and two control cohorts: 35,413 participants of the HUNT3 Survey (52.8+9.6years), and 176 iNPH patients (61.2+8.3years). All individuals were aged 35-70 years. Among the non-communicating HC patients, the results showed increased prevalence for arterial hypertension (males), cardiac infarction (females), and diabetes (females), as compared with the HUNT3 control group with significant odds ratio estimates. However, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease did not significantly differ between patients with non-communicating HC or iNPH. In patients with either non-communicating HC or iNPH and elevated pulsatile intracranial pressure (ICP) during overnight monitoring, the prevalence of diabetes was increased.
This study showed significantly increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease in non-communicating HC, indicating an association between cardiovascular disease and the development of non-communicating HC. Further, diabetes was associated with abnormal pulsatile ICP in both non-communicating HC and iNPH patients.