Many patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) have reportedly fallen prior to diagnosis. However, there are no previous reports on the iNPH prevalence among the elderly with history of falls. This study investigated the effectiveness of screening for iNPH in elderly patients presenting after a fall.
We retrospectively assessed the Evans’ index (EI) of 235 consecutive patients aged 60-89 who presented after falls between May and October 2020. We also assessed the presence of the iNPH triad (gait disturbance, cognitive impairment, and urinary incontinence). Patients with EI > 0.3 and with all 3 triad were defined as having possible iNPH; those with clinical improvement after a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tap test as having probable iNPH; and those with clinical improvement after a shunt surgery as having definite iNPH. We also examined the 235 patients’ EI, and performed a case-control study of EI using sex- and age-matched control patients.
Among the included 235 cases presenting after falls, 44 (18.7%) were diagnosed with possible iNPH, 29 (12.3%) with probable iNPH, and 25 (10.6%) with definite iNPH. The mean EI of these 235 patients was significantly larger than that of controls (0.30 ± 0.04 vs 0.26 ± 0.02, p < 0.0001). The proportion of possible iNPH in the cases was 44 out of 235 (18.7%), significantly higher than that of the controls (0%, p < 0.0001).
Screening for iNPH in the elderly presenting after falls can possibly identify iNPH patients in the earlier stage who may benefit more from surgical treatments.

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