Background There is increasing interest in evaluation of the pulse amplitude of intracranial pressure (AMP) in explaining dynamic aspects of hydrocephalus. We reviewed a large number of ICP recordings in a group of hydrocephalic patients to assess utility of AMP. Materials and methods From a database including approximately 2,100 cases of infusion studies (either lumbar or intraventricular) and overnight ICP monitoring in patients suffering from hydrocephalus of various types (both communicating and non-communicating), etiology and stage of management (non-shunted or shunted) pressure recordings were evaluated. For subgroup analysis we selected 60 patients with idiopathic NPH with full follow-up after shunting. In 29 patients we compared pulse amplitude during an infusion study performed before and after shunting with a properly functioning shunt. Amplitude was calculated from ICP waveforms using spectral analysis methodology. Findings A large amplitude was associated with good outcome after shunting (positive predictive value of clinical improvement for AMP above 2.5 mmHg was 95%). However, low amplitude did not predict poor outcome (for AMP below 2.5 mmHg 52% of patients improved). Correlations of AMP with ICP and Rcsf were positive and statistically significant (N=131 with idiopathic NPH; R= 0.21 for correlation with mean ICP and 0.22 with Rcsf; p< 0.01). Correlation with the brain elastance coefficient (or PVI) was not significant. There was also no significant correlation between pulse amplitude and width of the ventricles. The pulse amplitude decreased (p<0.005) after shunting. Conclusions Interpretation of the ICP pulse waveform may be clinically useful in patients suffering from hydrocephalus. Elevated amplitude seems to be a positive predictor for clinical improvement after shunting. A properly functioning shunt reduces the pulse amplitude.