Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Predictors of admission and shunt revision during emergency department visits for shunt-treated adult patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension

J Neurosurg 127:233–239, 2017

Factors associated with emergency department admission and/or shunt revision for idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are unclear. In this study, the associations of several factors with emergency department admission and shunt revision for IIH were explored.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of 31 patients (169 total emergency department visits) who presented to the emergency department for IIH-related symptoms between 2003 and 2015. Demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, IIH diagnosis and treatment history, ophthalmological examination, diagnostic lumbar puncture (LP), imaging findings, and data regarding admission and management decisions were collected. Multivariable general linear models regression analysis was performed to assess the predictive factors associated with admission and shunt revision.

RESULTS Thirty-one adult patients with a history of shunt placement for IIH visited the emergency department a total of 169 times for IIH-related symptoms, with a median of 3 visits (interquartile range 2–7 visits) per patient. Five patients had more than 10 emergency department visits. Baseline factors associated with admission included male sex (OR 10.47, 95% CI 2.13–51.56; p = 0.004) and performance of an LP (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.31–7.31; p = 0.01). Contrastingly, older age at presentation (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.99; p = 0.01), and a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.89–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against admission. The presence of papilledema (OR 11.62, 95% CI 3.20–42.16; p < 0.001), Caucasian race (OR 40.53, 95% CI 2.49–660.09 p = 0.009), and systemic hypertension (OR 7.73, 95% CI 1.11–53.62; p = 0.03) were independent risk factors for shunt revision. In addition, a greater number of prior emergency department visits (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77–0.96; p = 0.009) and older age at presentation (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.87–0.99; p = 0.02) were slightly protective against shunt revision, while there was suggestive evidence that presence of a programmable shunt (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05–1.14; p = 0.07) was a protective factor against shunt revision. Of note, location of the proximal catheter in the ventricle or lumbar subarachnoid space was not significantly associated with admission or shunt revision in the multivariable analyses.

CONCLUSIONS The decision to admit a shunt-treated patient from the emergency department for symptoms related to IIH is challenging. Knowledge of factors associated with the need for admission and/or shunt revision is required. In this study, factors such as male sex, younger age at presentation, lower number of prior emergency department visits, and performance of a diagnostic LP were independent predictors of admission. In addition, papilledema was strongly predictive of the need for shunt revision, highlighting the importance of an ophthalmological examination for shunt-treated adults with IIH who present to the emergency department.


Elective ICP monitoring: how long is long enough?

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:485–490

Intracranial pressure monitoring is commonly undertaken to assess and manage acute patients following head injury. However, ICP monitoring can also be a useful diagnostic tool in the management of CSF dynamics in elective patients. To date, there is little published research to suggest how long these elective patients require ICP monitoring in order to gain an accurate picture of a patient’s ICP dynamics. At the author’s institution, a minimum of 48-h data collection is currently undertaken in patients with a suspected ICP abnormality.

Methods A retrospective audit was undertaken comparing overall median ICP and overall median pulse amplitude data at three time points, 24 h, 48 h and total time analysed (if longer than 48 h). Paired T-test was used to assess if there were statistically significant differences between 24-h versus 48-h monitoring and total duration of monitoring. All patients admitted over a 6-month period for ICPM who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria were included.

Results Eighteen patients met the criteria. Median age was 45.8 years, range 22–83 years, 12 female and 6 male. No complications were experienced as a result of ICPM. Diagnosis included NPH, IIH, suspected shunt malfunction and Chiari malformation. The results demonstrated that there is no statistical difference between 24 h and 48 h or longer for both overall median ICP and pulse amplitude.

Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that ICP monitoring of elective adult patients using a Spiegelberg intraparenchymal bolt for 24 h gives an accurate picture of a patient’s ICP dynamics compared with longer periods of monitoring.

Contrast-enhanced shunt series (“shuntography”) compare favorably to other shunt imaging modalities in detecting shunt occlusion

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:63–70

Obstruction is a common cause of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt failure. Head computed tomography and plain x-ray examinations of shunt tubing (“shunt series”) are routinely used in patients readmitted for reemerging symptoms but are of limited value. The validity of shunt series can be improved by applying contrast agent into the system (contrast-enhanced shunt series, a.k.a. a “shuntogram” or “shuntography”). We hypothesized that contrast-enhanced shunt series have a high predictive value for shunt revision surgeries.

Methods: We retrospectively re-evaluated 107 contrast-enhanced shunt series and reviewed the patient histories. We defined outcome parameters for calculating the utility of a pathological contrast-enhanced shunt series in predicting revision surgery.

Results: Of 107 contrast-enhanced shunt series, 41 examinations were positive for obstruction, mainly of the ventricular (36.5 %) and the peritoneal catheter (48.8 %). Within 30 days, 35 successful revision surgeries and 3 revision surgeries without resolution of symptoms were performed. In two cases the shunt tubing was found to be patent. Sixty-six negative examinations resulted in two revision surgeries, in addition to ten surgeries not attempting to restore patency. After 30 days, the specificity of contrast-enhanced shunt series for shunt failure identification was calculated at 92.8 %, the sensitivity at 94.7 %, the positive predictive value at 87.8 %, and the negative predictive value at 97.0 %.

Conclusions: The contrast-enhanced shunt series method is a highly specific examination with a negative predictive value exceeding that of head computed tomography and plain shunt series. Compared to radionuclide marker studies, contrast-enhanced shunt series demonstrate better spatiotemporal resolution, enabling focused local surgical repair.

Surgical treatment of long-standing overt ventriculomegaly in adults (LOVA)

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:71–79

Longstanding overt ventriculomegaly in adults (LOVA) is characterised by chronic hydrocephalus presumed to begin during infancy, but arresting before becoming clinically detectable. Later in life clinical features of hydrocephalus ensue, typically in the 5th or 6th decades. Only a relatively small number of LOVA case series have been published, and ambiguity remains regarding optimal management. This case series describes a series of patients with LOVA treated successfully at a single neurosurgical institution using endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).

Methods: A series of 14 patients were diagnosed with LOVA using established clinical and radiological criteria. All patients underwent an ETV and their clinical conditions were followed up for up to 5 years post-operatively.

Results: Fourteen patients (100 %) reported either improvement or halt of progression in their presenting symptoms 3 months after ETV; 93 % of patients (n = 13) did not require any further surgical intervention. One patient (7 %) reported deterioration in symptoms beyond 3 months post-operatively, which necessitated further surgery (ventriculoperitoneal shunt). These promising outcomes after ETV are mirrored in numerous other LOVA case series. Other works have analysed the value of CSF shunting procedures in LOVA, with mixed results. A direct, prospective comparison of outcomes after shunt procedures and ETV, with a specific focus on LOVA patients, is yet to be completed. A minority of patients fail to respond, or develop recurrence of symptoms, months or years after initial surgical intervention.

Conclusions: ETV is an attractive option for surgical treatment of LOVA. After surgical treatment for LOVA, long-term follow-up should be considered to screen for late recurrence of the condition.

Natural history of colloid cysts of the third ventricle

J Neurosurg 125:1420–1430, 2016

Colloid cysts are rare, histologically benign lesions that may result in obstructive hydrocephalus and death. Understanding the natural history of colloid cysts has been challenging given their low incidence and the small number of cases in most reported series. This has complicated efforts to establish reliable prognostic factors and surgical indications, particularly for asymptomatic patients with incidental lesions. Risk factors for obstructive hydrocephalus in the setting of colloid cysts remain poorly defined, and there are no grading scales on which to develop standard management strategies.

Methods The authors performed a single-center retrospective review of all cases of colloid cysts of the third ventricle treated over nearly 2 decades at Washington University. Univariate analysis was used to identify clinical, imaging, and anatomical factors associated with 2 outcome variables: symptomatic clinical status and presentation with obstructive hydrocephalus. A risk-prediction model was defined using bootstrapped logistic regression. Predictive factors were then combined into a simple 5-point clinical scale referred to as the Colloid Cyst Risk Score (CCRS), and this was evaluated with receiver-operator characteristics.

Results The study included 163 colloid cysts, more than half of which were discovered incidentally. More than half of the incidental cysts (58%) were followed with surveillance neuroimaging (mean follow-up 5.1 years). Five patients with incidental cysts (8.8%) progressed and underwent resection. No patient with an incidental, asymptomatic colloid cyst experienced acute obstructive hydrocephalus or sudden neurological deterioration in the absence of antecedent trauma. Nearly half (46.2%) of symptomatic patients presented with hydrocephalus. Eight patients (12.3%) presented acutely, and there were 2 deaths due to obstructive hydrocephalus and herniation. The authors identified several factors that were strongly correlated with the 2 outcome variables and defined third ventricle risk zones where colloid cysts can cause obstructive hydrocephalus. No patient with a lesion outside these risk zones presented with obstructive hydrocephalus. The CCRS had significant predictive capacity for symptomatic clinical status (area under the curve [AUC] 0.917) and obstructive hydrocephalus (AUC 0.845). A CCRS ≥ 4 was significantly associated with obstructive hydrocephalus (p < 0.0001, RR 19.4).

Conclusions Patients with incidentally discovered colloid cysts can experience both lesion enlargement and symptom progression or less commonly, contraction and symptom regression. Incidental lesions rarely cause acute obstructive hydrocephalus or sudden neurological deterioration in the absence of antecedent trauma. Nearly one-half of patients with symptomatic colloid cysts present with obstructive hydrocephalus, which has an associated 3.1% risk of death. The CCRS is a simple 5-point clinical tool that can be used to identify symptomatic lesions and stratify the risk of obstructive hydrocephalus. External validation of the CCRS will be necessary before objective surgical indications can be established. Surgical intervention should be considered for all patients with CCRS ≥ 4, as they represent the high-risk subgroup.

Does aqueductal stenosis influence the lumbar infusion test in normal-pressure hydrocephalus?

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:2305–2310

Late-onset idiopathic aqueductal stenosis may present with clinical features indistinct from idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Moreover, aqueductal stenosis (AS) is not always detected by conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The aim of this study was to compare the hydrodynamic pattern among NPH patients according to the patency of the aqueduct.

Methods Fifty-six consecutive lumbar infusion tests were performed in patients with NPH syndrome. Precipitating causes of hydrocephalus were excluded, and aqueductal patency was examined through high-resolution, T2-weighted 3D MRI. Patients were classified into two groups: non-patent aqueduct and patent aqueduct. Mean values of pressure and pulse amplitude were obtained from basal and plateau stages of infusion studies.

Results Twelve of 56 patients with NPH-like symptoms presented with morphological AS (21.4 %). Patent aqueduct and non-patent aqueduct groups had similar values of mean opening lumbar pressure (8.2 vs. 8.1 mmHg), and mean opening pulse amplitude (3.1 vs. 2.9 mmHg). Mean pressure in the plateau stage (28.6 vs. 23.2 mmHg), and mean pulse amplitude in the plateau stage (12.5 vs. 10.6 mmHg) were higher in the patent aqueduct group. These differences were not statistically significant. Only Rout was significantly higher in the patent aqueduct group (13.6 vs. 10.1 mmHg/ml/min). One-third of NPH patients with AS presented Rout >12 mmHg/ ml/min.

Conclusions No differences in mean pressure or pulse amplitude during basal and plateau epochs of the lumbar infusion test in NPH patients were detected, regardless of aqueductal patency. However, Rout was significantly higher in patients with patent aqueduct.

One-year outcome in patients with idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus: comparison of lumboperitoneal shunt to ventriculoperitoneal shunt

J Neurosurg 125:1483–1492, 2016

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is treated with cerebrospinal fluid shunting, and implantation of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is the current standard treatment. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of VPSs and lumboperitoneal shunts (LPSs) for patients with iNPH.

Methods The authors conducted a prospective multicenter study of LPS use for patients with iNPH. Eighty-three patients with iNPH (age 60 to 85 years) who presented with ventriculomegaly and high-convexity and medial subarachnoid space tightness on MR images were recruited from 20 neurological or neurosurgical centers in Japan between March 1, 2010, and October 19, 2011. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score 1 year after surgery, and the secondary outcome included scores on the iNPH grading scale (iNPHGS). A previously conducted VPS cohort study with the same inclusion criteria and primary and secondary end points was used as a historical control.

Results: The proportion of patients who achieved a favorable outcome (i.e., improvement of at least 1 point in their mRS score) was 63% (95% CI 51%–73%) and was comparable to values reported with VPS implantation (69%, 95% CI 59%–78%). Using the iNPHGS, the 1-year improvement rate was 75% (95% CI 64%–84%) and was comparable to the rate found in the VPS study (77%, 95% CI 68%–84%). The proportion of patients experiencing serious adverse events (SAEs) and non-SAEs did not differ signi cantly between the groups at 1 year after surgery (SAEs: 19 [22%] of 87 LPS patients vs 15 [15%] of 100 VPS patients, p = 0.226; non-SAEs: 24 [27.6%] LPS patients vs 20 [20%] VPS patients, p = 0.223). However, shunt revisions were more common in LPS-treated patients than in VPS-treated patients (6 [7%] vs 1 [1%]).

Conclusions The efficacy and safety rates for LPSs with programmable valves are comparable to those for VPSs for the treatment of patients with iNPH. Despite the relatively high shunt failure rate, an LPS can be the treatment of choice because of its minimal invasiveness and avoidance of brain injury.


Hydrocephalus: an underrated long-term complication of microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia

External lumbar drain- A pragmatic test for prediction of shunt outcomes in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:2203–2206

Hydrocephalus is a common complication of posterior fossa surgery, but its real incidence after microvascular decompression (MVD) for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) still remains unclear. The aim of this study was to focus on the potential association between MVD and hydrocephalus as a surgery-related complication.

Methods All patients who underwent MVD procedure for idiopathic TN at our institute between 2009 and 2014 were reviewed to search for early or late postoperative hydrocephalus.

Results There were 259 consecutive patients affected by idiopathic TN who underwent MVD procedure at our institution between 2009 and 2014 (113 men, 146 women; mean age 59 years, range 30–87 years; mean follow-up 40.92 months, range 8–48 months). Nine patients (3.47 %) developed communicating hydrocephalus after hospital discharge and underwent standard ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. No cases of acute hydrocephalus were noticed.

Conclusions Our study suggests that late communicating hydrocephalus may be an underrated potential long-term complication of MVD surgery.


Hydrocephalus: cerebral aquaporin-4 and computational modeling

Aquaporin-4 channels

Neurosurg Focus 41 (3):E8, 2016

Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels play an important role in brain water homeostasis. Water transport across plasma membranes has a critical role in brain water exchange of the normal and the diseased brain. AQP4 channels are implicated in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus, a disease of water imbalance that leads to CSF accumulation in the ventricular system. Many molecular aspects of fluid exchange during hydrocephalus have yet to be firmly elucidated, but review of the literature suggests that modulation of AQP4 channel activity is a potentially attractive future pharmaceutical therapy. Drug therapy targeting AQP channels may enable control over water exchange to remove excess CSF through a molecular intervention instead of by mechanical shunting.

This article is a review of a vast body of literature on the current understanding of AQP4 channels in relation to hydrocephalus, details regarding molecular aspects of AQP4 channels, possible drug development strategies, and limitations. Advances in medical imaging and computational modeling of CSF dynamics in the setting of hydrocephalus are summarized.

Algorithmic developments in computational modeling continue to deepen the understanding of the hydrocephalus disease process and display promising potential benefit as a tool for physicians to evaluate patients with hydrocephalus.

Neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting in adults


J Neurosurg 125:576–584, 2016

Since its revival in the early 1990s, neuroendoscopy has become an integral component of modern neurosurgery. Endoscopic stent placement for treatment of CSF pathway obstruction is a rarely used and underestimated procedure. The authors present the first series of neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting for CSF pathway obstruction in adults with associated results and complications spanning a long-term follow-up of 20 years.

Methods The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively maintained clinical database for endoscopic stent placement performed in adults between 1993 and 2013.

Results Of 526 endoscopic intraventricular procedures, stents were placed for treatment of CSF disorders in 25 cases (4.8%). The technique was used in the management of arachnoid cysts (ACs; n = 8), tumor-related CSF disorders (n = 13), and hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the foramen of Monro (n = 2) or aqueduct (n = 2). The mean follow-up was 87.1 months. No deaths or infections occurred that were related to endoscopic placement of intracranial stents. Late stent dislocation or migration was observed in 3 patients (12%).

Conclusions Endoscopic intracranial stent placement in adults is rarely required but is a safe and helpful technique in select cases. It is indicated when reliable and long-lasting restoration of CSF pathway obstructions cannot be achieved with standard endoscopic techniques. In the treatment of tumor-related hydrocephalus, it is a good option to avoid reclosure of the restored CSF pathway by tumor growth. Currently, routine stent placement after endoscopic fenestration of ACs is not recommended. Stent placement for treatment of CSF disorders due to tumor is a good option for avoiding CSF shunting. To avoid stent migration and dislocation, and to allow for easy removal if needed, the device should be fixed to a bur hole reservoir.

Defining a Standardized Approach for the Bedside Insertion of Temporal Horn External Ventricular Drains

Standardized Approach for the Bedside Insertion of Temporal Horn External Ventricular Drains

Neurosurgery 79:296–304, 2016

A trapped temporal horn can be emergently decompressed by inserting a bedside temporal horn external ventricular drain (tEVD). However, no standardized method for this procedure has been described.

OBJECTIVE: To identify methods for bedside tEVD insertion, and determine the safest, most accurate, and most easily standardized approach.

METHODS: Volumetric images of 20 patients with trapped temporal horns were analyzed. Three tEVD approaches (perpendicular, lateral, and medial) were defined, along with standardized insertion points and external landmarks for trajectory guidance. Predicted success in penetrating the temporal horn, skin-to-temporal horn entrance distance, temporal horn distance traversed, and trajectory target error and accuracy were evaluated; data were compared with independent sample t tests.

RESULTS: Nineteen of 20 cases were analyzed; 13 had critical temporal horn entrapment. Penetration was achieved in 100% of perpendicular and 84% (16/19) of lateral and medial approaches (92% [12/13] of critical entrapments). In 19 patients, trajectory error was not significantly different among approaches. The perpendicular approach had significantly more accuracy than the lateral (P = .01) and medial (P = .002) approaches. The lateral approach afforded significantly more traversable distance than the perpendicular approach (P = .009). In cases with critical entrapment, the perpendicular approach had significantly less error (P = .02) and significantly better accuracy (P = .02) than the medial approach. The perpendicular approach trended toward more accuracy than the lateral approach (P = .06).

CONCLUSION: The perpendicular approach appears to be the easiest, safest, and most reliable approach tested. We recommend conducting bedside tEVD placement only in patients with a critically dilated temporal horn who are clinically deteriorating at a rate that prohibits other procedures.

Fewer complications with bolt-connected than tunneled external ventricular drainage


Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1491–1494

Ventriculostomy/external ventricular drain (EVD) is a common neurosurgical procedure. Various techniques are used to fixate the drain and the objective of this study was, in a retrospective setting, to compare the incidence of complications when using bolt-connected EVD (BC-EVD) versus tunneled EVD (T-EVD).

Methods All patients subjected to an EVD performed through a new burr hole from 2009 through 2010 at two Depts. of Neurosurgery in Denmark (Odense and Aarhus) were retrospectively identified. Patient files were evaluated for EVD fixation technique (tunneled or bolt-connected EVD) and complications including unintended removal, catheter obstruction, infection, CSF leakage, and mechanical problems.

Results A total of 271 patients with 272 separate EVDs met the inclusion criteria. There was a statistically higher rate of complications leading to reinsertion in the tunneled EVD group (40 %), compared to the bolt-connected EVD group (6.5 %). There was no significant difference in infection rates.

Conclusions Tunneled EVD has a relatively high frequency of complications leading to reinsertion. The use of Bolt-connected EVD technique can lower this frequency significantly. The number needed to treat is three for preventing a complication requiring reinsertion. Infection rates are low for both types of ventriculostomies. Accordingly, we recommend use of Bolt-connected EVDs in neurosurgical practice.

Hydrocephalus in vein of Galen malformation: etiologies and therapeutic management implications

Hydrocephalus in vein of Galen malformation

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1279–1284

Up to now, only little is known about hydrocephalus (HC) in vein of Galen malformation (VGM).We want to present the different etiologies and our long-term experience (1992–2015) in the management of HC.

Methods Out of 44 treated children with VGM, we retrospectively reviewed all cases with HC.We analyzed the etiologies, our treatment results and complications.

Results Twenty-one children (48 %) presented either with HC or developed it over time. In 21% of those cases, high venous pressure was presumably the sole cause. Until 2009, seven of them received ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting; six of those resulted in severe postoperative complications. The remaining children have been treated successfully by endovascular embolization. Five out of the 44 children (11 %) developed HC after intraventricular hemorrhage. In four cases, those children were treated with positive results by using transient external ventricular drainages. In one case a VP shunt with highest valve pressure was inserted. Another four children (9 %) presented with aqueductal stenosis-related HC caused by either dilated venous outflow or space-occupying coil masses after embolization. The latter case was successfully treated by ventriculocisternostomy, whereas endovascular treatment decreased the venous outflow in size and thus resolved the HC in the other cases. In the remaining cases (7 %), atrophy due to melting brain syndrome led to HC ex vacuo.

Conclusions HC in VGM is a common phenomenon with several etiologies requiring different treatments. In most cases, embolization of the VGM as sole treatment is completely sufficient in order to decrease high venous pressure. However, certain other causes of HC should be treated in an interdisciplinary setting by specialized neurosurgeons.

Female gender predisposes for cerebrospinal fluid overdrainage in ventriculoperitoneal shunting

Female gender predisposes for cerebrospinal fluid overdrainage in ventriculoperitoneal shunting

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1273–1278

Gravitational valves (GVs) prevent overdrainage in ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS). However, there are no data available on the appropriate opening pressure in the shunt system when implementing a GV. We performed a retrospective analysis of hydrocephalic patients who were successfully treated with VPS which included one or more GV.

Method In this retrospective study in adult VPS patients with GVs, we analysed all available data, including the most recent computed tomography (CT) scans, to determine the best adjustments for alleviating any symptoms of overdrainage and underdrainage. Vertical effective opening pressure (VEOP) of the entire shunt system, including the differential pressure valve, was determined.

Results One hundred and twenty-two patients were eligible for the study. Of these, female patients revealed a higher VEOP compared with males (mean, 35.6 cmH2O [SD ± 2.46] vs 28.9 cmH2O [SD±0.87], respectively, p=0.0072, t-test). In patients older than 60 years, lower VEOPs, by a mean of 6.76 cmH2O± 2.37 (p = 0.0051), were necessary. Mean VEOP was found to be high in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH; 41.6 cmH2O) and malresorptive and congenital HC (35.9 and 36.3), but low in normal pressure HC (27.5, p =0.0229; one-way ANOVA). In the total cohort, body mass index (BMI) and height did not correlate with VEOP. Twelve patients required a VEOP of more than 40 cmH2O, and in eight of these patients this was accomplished by using multiple GVs. All but one of these eight patients were of female gender, and none of the latter were treated for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) (p = 0.0044 and p = 0.0032, Fisher’s exact test).

Conclusions In adult VPS patients, female gender increases the risk of overdrainage requiring higher VEOPs. Initial implantation of adjustable GV should be considered in female patients treated with VP shunts for pathology other than NPH.

Suprasellar Arachnoid Cysts: Toward a New Simple Classification Based on Prognosis and Treatment Modality

Suprasellar Arachnoid Cysts- Toward a New Simple Classification Based on Prognosis and Treatment Modality

Neurosurgery 78:370–380, 2016

Suprasellar arachnoid cysts (SAC) represent between 9% and 21% of pediatric arachnoid cysts. Recent improvements in magnetic resonance imaging, as well as increasing prenatal diagnosis, have allowed more precise knowledge and follow-up.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel classification of SAC.

METHODS: We present 35 cases of SAC treated between 1996 and 2014. Patient records and imaging studies were reviewed retrospectively to assess symptomatology, radiological findings, treatment, and long-term follow-up.

RESULTS: Fourteen SAC were diagnosed prenatally (39%). We observed 15 (43%) cases presenting hydrocephalus (SAC-1) removing Liliequist membrane downward. Lower forms (SAC-2) with free third ventricle were observed in 11 (31%) cases. Asymmetrical forms (SAC-3) with Sylvian or temporal extension were seen in the 9 (26%) remaining patients. Twenty-three (66%) patients were treated by ventriculocisternostomy, 3 (8.5%) by shunt surgery, and 3 (8.5%) by craniotomy. Six (17%) patients had no surgery, including 5 cases (14%) that had prenatal diagnosis. Outcomes were initially favorable in 26 cases (87%). Eight (22%) patients had endocrine abnormalities at the end of the follow-up, 3 (8.5%) had developmental delay, and 6 (17%) had minor neuropsychological disturbances.

CONCLUSION: SAC are heterogeneous entities. SAC-1 may come from an expansion of the diencephalic leaf of the Liliequist membrane. SAC-2 show a dilatation of the interpeduncular cistern and correspond to a defect of the mesencephalic leaf of the Liliequist membrane. SAC-3 correspond to the asymmetrical forms expanding to other subarachnoid spaces. Surgical treatment is not always necessary. The recognition of the different subtypes will allow choosing the best treatment option.

Clinical effect of different shunt valve settings in iNPH


J Neurosurg 124:359–367, 2016

The study aim was to examine the effect of gradually reducing the opening pressure on symptoms and signs in the shunt treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH).

Methods In this prospective double-blinded, randomized, controlled, double-center study on patients with iNPH, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt with an adjustable Codman Medos Valve was implanted in 68 patients randomized into 2 groups. In 1 group (the 20–4 group) the valve setting was initially set to 20 cm H2O and gradually reduced to 4 cm H2O over the course of the 6-month study period. In the other group (the 12 group), the valve was kept at a medium level of 12 cm H2O during the whole study period. All patients were clinically evaluated using 4 tests preoperatively as well as postoperatively at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 months. The test scores between the 2 groups (20–4 and 12) were compared for each clinical evaluation.

Results Fifty-five patients (81%) were able to complete the study. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups (20–4 and 12) preoperatively or at any time postoperatively. Both groups exhibited significant clinical improvement after shunt insertion at all valve settings compared with the preoperative score, with the greatest improvement observed at the first postoperative evaluation. The clinical improvement was significant within the first 3 months, and thereafter no significant improvement was seen in either group.

Conclusions Gradual reduction of the valve setting from 20 to 4 cm H2O did not improve outcome compared with a fixed valve setting of 12 cm H2O. Improvement after shunt surgery in iNPH patients was evident within 3 months, irrespective of valve setting.

Parametric study of ventricular catheters for hydrocephalus

Parametric study of ventricular catheters for hydrocephalus

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:109–116

To drain the excess of cerebrospinal fluid in a hydrocephalus patient, a catheter is inserted into one of the brain ventricles and then connected to a valve. This so-called ventricular catheter is a standard-size, flexible tubing with a number of holes placed symmetrically around several transversal sections or “drainage segments”. Three-dimensional computational dynamics shows that most of the fluid volume flows through the drainage segment closest to the valve. This fact raises the likelihood that those holes and then the lumen get clogged by the cells and macromolecules present in the cerebrospinal fluid, provoking malfunction of the whole system. In order to better understand the flow pattern, we have carried out a parametric study via numerical models of ventricular catheters.

Methods The parameters chosen are the number of drainage segments, the distances between them, the number and diameter of the holes on each segment, as well as their relative angular position.

Results These parameters were found to have a direct consequence on the flow distribution and shear stress of the catheter. As a consequence, we formulate general principles for ventricular catheter design.

Conclusions These principles can help develop new catheters with homogeneous flow patterns, thus possibly extending their lifetime.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 78:109–119, 2016

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has been used predominantly in the pediatric population in the past. Application in the adult population has been less extensive, even in large neurosurgical centers. To our knowledge, this report is one of the largest adult ETV series reported and has the consistency of being performed at 1 center.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy, safety, and outcome of ETV in a large adult hydrocephalus patient series at a single neurosurgical center. In addition, to analyze patient selection criteria and clinical subgroups (including those with ventriculoperitoneal shunt [VPS] malfunction or obstruction and neurointensive care unit patients with extended ventricular drainage before ETV) to optimize surgical results in the future.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of adult ETV procedures performed at our center between 2000 and 2014.

RESULTS: The overall rate of success (no further cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure performed plus clinical improvement) of 243 completed ETVs was 72.8%. Following is the number of procedures with the success rate in parentheses: aqueduct stenosis, 56 (91%); communicating hydrocephalus including normal pressure hydrocephalus, nonnormal pressure hydrocephalus, and remote head trauma, 57 (43.8%); communicating hydrocephalus in postoperative posterior fossa tumor without residual tumor, 14 (85.7%); communicating hydrocephalus in subarachnoid hemorrhage without intraventricular hemorrhage, 23 (69.6%); obstruction from tumor/cyst, 42 (85.7%); VPS obstruction (diagnosis unknown), 23 (65.2%); intraventricular hemorrhage, 20 (90%); and miscellaneous (obstructive), 8 (50%). There were 9 complications in 250 intended procedures (3.6%); 5 (2%) were serious.

CONCLUSION: Use of ETV in adult hydrocephalus has broad application with a low complication rate and reasonably good efficacy in selected patients.

Avoidance and management of perioperative complications of endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Usefulness of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Ventriculography During Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

J Neurosurg 123:1414–1419, 2015

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is a minimally invasive procedure, serious perioperative complications may occur due to the unique surgical maneuvers involved. In this paper the authors report the complications of elective and emergency ETV and their surgical management in 412 patients from July 2006 to October 2012 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (a government hospital) and other private hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The authors attempted some previously undescribed simple maneuvers that may help to overcome the difficulties of managing complications.

METHODS The complication rate was determined by recording intraoperative changes in pulse and blood pressure, bleeding episodes, serum electrolyte abnormalities, CSF leakage, and neurological deterioration in the immediate postoperative period.

RESULTS Intraoperative complications included hemodynamic alterations in the form of tachycardia, bradycardia, and hypertension. Bleeding was categorized as major in 2 cases and minor in 68 cases. Delayed recovery from anesthesia occurred in 14 cases, CSF leakage from the wound in 11 cases, and electrolyte imbalance in 5 cases. Postoperatively, 2 patients suffered convulsions and 1 had evidence of third cranial nerve injury. Three patients died as a result of complications.

CONCLUSIONS Complications during endoscopy can lead to serious consequences that may sometimes be very difficult to manage. The authors have identified and managed a large number of complications in this series, although the rate of complications is consistent with that in other reported series. These complications should be kept in mind perioperatively by both surgeons and anesthesiologists, as prompt detection and action can help minimize the risks associated with neuroendoscopic procedures.

Surgically managed idiopathic intracranial hypertension in adults

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:2099–2103

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a rare condition that is often managed conservatively. In patients with aggressive progression of the disease surgical options are considered. There are few data on the outcomes of these patients when surgically managed. We describe our experience of surgically managed IIH and the outcomes of these patients, in particular the surgical revision rate and interventions required for resolution of symptoms.

Methods A retrospective review of all patient files coded with benign intracranial hypertension, idiopathic intracranial hypertension or pseudotumour cerebri was undertaken. Files were searched with the date of diagnosis and the date these patients were referred for surgical intervention. The surgical interventions and complications were then documented and note was made of the number of inpatient admissions and days spent in hospital.

Results From 2000–2013, 79 patients were identified as patients with IIH that had required surgical intervention; 52 % required further surgical intervention. The average number of surgical interventions was 5.6. For patients requiring further intervention the average number of surgical interventions was 8.6. On average patients with IIH also spent 42 inpatient days in neurosurgical beds, whilst those patients who required further intervention spent 63 days on average in neurosurgical beds. The length of the average individual admission was longer for patients requiring repeated surgical interventions.

Conclusion Based on our experience, patients that require surgical management of IIH frequently require further surgical interventions to control symptoms and manage complications of CSF diversion surgery. Those that require such further intervention on average will have six further operations and spend significantly longer in hospital. Lumboperitoneal (LP) shunting is an effective first line surgical intervention for 52% of our patient cohort. This sub-group of patients therefore requires specialist neurosurgical input for this long-term and challenging pathological process.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


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