MR Elastography and CSF Biomarkers in Post-Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus

2014 Pilot Project Read More


Principal Investigator: David Limbrick (WashU Neurosurgery)
Collaborators: Pat McAllister (WashU Neurosurgery), Philip Bayly (WashU Mechanical Engineering), Robyn Klein (WashU Medicine)


Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is the most common, severe neurological complication of preterm birth, and up to half of patients with IVH develop post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH). PHH is typically treated with surgical implantation of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt; however, even with successful shunting, PHH is associated with a 3-4 fold increase in the risk of cognitive and motor disabilities. Inflammatory processes triggered by IVH are believed to underlie the development of PHH and potentially contribute to the observed long-term neurological challenges.  Further, inflammation may be related to changes in the stiffness, or elastance, observed in brain tissue in the setting of PHH.  Such alterations in the mechanical properties of the brain can now be measured non-invasively with a novel magnetic resonance technique, MR elastography (MRE).  The primary objective of this project to create a new model of PHH and employ MRE to characterize the changes in brain tissue stiffness that occur during the progression of PHH.  The relationship between brain stiffness and the levels of inflammatory proteins and other candidate biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid will also be examined. The work produced through this study will lead to more comprehensive understanding of the diagnostic potential of MRE, the role that brain stiffness plays in PHH, and the potential for new treatments to supplement the current management approach for children with PHH.

Grants and Awards

“Therapeutic Modulation of Post-Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus”
Hydrocephalus Association Innovator Award to James P. (Pat) McAllister II, PhD and David D. Limbrick, Jr., MD, PhD

Updated June 2017

Hope Center Investigators

Pilot project teams include Hope Center faculty members and others. For more about Hope Center faculty on this team, click below.

David Limbrick

Pat McAllister

Philip Bayly

Robyn Klein


This pilot project is made possible by the Danforth Foundation Challenge.

Danforth Challenge