Citation, DOI and article data
Pneumoencephalography is a no-longer performed investigation that allowed imaging of the contours of the brain and ventricles by the deliberate introduction of air into the subarachnoid space.
This was achieved initially by a needle passed directly into the ventricles (via the fontanelles or a borehole). Small amounts of CSF were withdrawn and replaced with room air. The process repeated over and over until no more CSF could be obtained 1,2.
Later, it was realized that air inserted into the lumbar theca (via puncture) could be maneuvered into desired subarachnoid spaces by careful position and tilting of the head.
History and etymology
The procedure was developed by Walter E. Dandy (1886–1946) an American pediatric neurosurgeon who practised at Johns Hopkins Hospital 3.
- 1. Dandy WE. RONTGENOGRAPHY OF THE BRAIN AFTER THE INJECTION OF AIR INTO THE SPINAL CANAL. (1919) Annals of surgery. 70 (4): 397-403. doi:10.1097/00000658-191910000-00004 - Pubmed
- 2. Mariam Ishaque, David J. Wallace, Ramesh Grandhi. Pneumoencephalography in the workup of neuropsychiatric illnesses: a historical perspective. (2017) Neurosurgical Focus. 43 (3): E10. doi:10.3171/2017.6.FOCUS17238 - Pubmed
- 3. Corsello A, Di Dalmazi G, Pani F, Chalan P, Salvatori R, Caturegli P. Walter E. Dandy: his contributions to pituitary surgery in the context of the overall Johns Hopkins Hospital experience. (2017) Pituitary. 20 (6): 683-691. doi:10.1007/s11102-017-0834-6 - Pubmed