Inflammatory Markers in Cerebrospinal Fluid from Patients with Hydrocephalus: A Systematic Literature Review

Lolansen SD, Rostgaard N, Oernbo EK, Juhler M, Simonsen AH & MacAulay N


The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate existing literature on inflammatory markers in CSF from patients with hydrocephalus and identify potential markers capable of promoting hydrocephalus development and progression.


Relevant studies published before December 3rd 2020 were identified from PubMed, Embase, and reference lists. Studies were screened for eligibility using the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data from eligible studies were extracted, and sources of bias were evaluated. We included articles written in English investigating inflammatory markers in CSF from patients with hydrocephalus and control subjects. The review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines by three independent reviewers.


Twenty-two studies analyzed CSF from 311 patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), 178 with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH), 151 with other hydrocephalus diagnoses, and 394 control subjects. Fifty-eight inflammatory markers were investigated. The CSF of iNPH patients had increased CSF levels of IL-6, IL-1β, and LRG compared with control subjects, whereas the CSF of PHH patients had increased levels of IL-6, IL-18, and VEGF. CSF from patients with “other hydrocephalus diagnoses” had elevated IFN-γ compared to control subjects, and VEGF was increased in congenital hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and hydrocephalus associated with tuberculous meningitis compared with controls.


IL-6, IL-1β, LRG, IL-18, VEGF, and IFN-γ are elevated in CSF from patients with hydrocephalus and may be involved in promotion of hydrocephalus development and progression. They may serve as novel disease biomarkers, and their signaling pathways may represent targets for pharmacological management of hydrocephalus.

Read the full paper in Dis Markers (click here).