Magnetic resonance imaging analysis of extremely slow flow in a model shunt system

Edmund Frank, Michael Buonocore, Larry Hein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Shunt malfunction is common and its diagnosis may require invasive testing that may be inaccurate or result in complications. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may prove to be a useful noninvasive test of shunt function as it has been shown that MRI is capable of measuring cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows from 2 ml/h to 40 ml/h in model systems. Since flows in functioning shunt systems can be less than 2 ml/h, MRI must be sensitive enough to detect flow in this range in order to be a valid test for shunt function. Continuing previous studies, we have studied MRI flow-related enhancement at flow rates from 0 to 2 ml/h. Multiple spin echo scans (TR2000, TE20) were made through a specialized section of tubing in a model shunt system. The intensity of the MRI signal at points known to demonstrate maximal flow-related enhancement was measured. A linear relationship was demonstrated between signal intensity and flow as low as 0.8 ml/h. These results add support to the concept that MRI is sensitive enough to detect the lowest flows present in functioning shunt systems and therefore may be useful as a noninvasive test of shunt function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-75
Number of pages3
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebrospinal fluid shunt
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Shunt malfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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