Cine MRI or alternative tests for CSF flow - UK

Hi - newly diagnosed with Chiari 1 & associated dilation of third and lateral ventricles. I live in Cyprus (Europe) and neurosurgeon wants to perform a lumbar puncture, which I understand are controversial with Chiari malformation. I would prefer to have a less invasive procedure to check the CSF flow so am happy to travel to the UK. Are Cine MRI still performed for this purpose or are there other procedures available? Can anyone suggest one in the UK or even provide me with the name of the test so I can search in UK. Many thanks for any help.

Hey Lorraine,
Welcome to Ben’s Friends.
My name is Merl and I’m a member of the Modsupport Team on Ben’s Friends.
I’ve had some major issues with CSF and have a shunt (a plastic drain tube) to try to deal with it all. I’ve required numerous MRI scans.

There are a few differing types of MRI scanners and they are rated by a measure of the magnet strength in units called Tesla or (T) in very basic terms 2T can view fluid, 3T can view the flow of fluid. A cine MRI is a series of individual MRI images layered. These individual images are taken in correlation with the heartbeat. When the heart beats it also moves the CSF through the ventricular system and the clearer 3T images can show this ‘better’.

Now, I say ‘better’ but the technology around MRI scans has expanded significantly. 3T use to be the ‘Gold Standard’ when it came to MRI and because I have fluid issues, I was told I would always need 3T scans as a minimum. But I also am aware that now they are currently examining 7T technology, so it’s still expanding. If a 3T (or higher) machine is not easily available, a lumber puncture maybe the only option that’s available in Cyprus.

Hopefully someone from the UK will be able to answer your questions.

I’m in Australia, so how the systems work in the UK (or Cyprus) is outside of my experience. There are a few private scan/radiologist providers whom you maybe able to contact online to ask specific questions.

Hope it helps
Merl from the Modsupport Team

Hi Merl

Thankyou so much for your detailed response.

I now have an idea of what I am looking for and that’s there are other types of MRI other than the Cine MRI which makes my search easier.

Definitely not going down the lumbar puncture route here in Cyprus so will start my research in the UK.

Many thanks for your time and take care

Lorraine x