Correlation of optic nerve sheath diameter measurements by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging

Published:September 19, 2013DOI:



      Traditionally, intracranial pressure is measured by direct ventriculostomy, which is invasive. Noninvasive measures such as bedside ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging have been advocated and utilized recently to assess the intracranial pressure. The role of this study is to determine the degree of agreement between measurements of the optic nerve sheath diameter by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

      Materials and Methods

      Retrospective chart review of 100 consecutive patients who had both MRI and CT scan of the head from January 1, 2011, until March 31, 2013, at our center was performed. A discrepancy of 0.2 mm between the 2 measurements was set as acceptable difference. The measurements of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) were compared for agreement between the 2 modalities using the method by Bland and Altman.


      A total of 100 patients with both MRI and CT scan of the head were selected. Of these 100 patients, 24 were male and 76 were female. The average age was 63 years. No ONSD abnormality was detected in any of the patients. The discrepancy in measurements of the ONSD between CT and MRI in transverse plane was less than the predetermined cut-off value of 0.2 mm. Within-subject variance was estimated at 0.0058 for both CT and MRI.


      Comparable results without significant discrepancy as predetermined by the study groups were obtained from CT scan. Measurement of ONSD by CT scan can be used to indirectly asses the intracranial pressure in addition to clinical assessment and other signs of increased intracranial pressure on CT scan.
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