Permanent Cerebrospinal Fluid Diversion in Adults With Posterior Fossa Tumors: Incidence and Predictors


Neurosurgery 89:987–996, 2021

Posterior fossa tumors (PFTs) can cause hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can persist despite resection of PFTs in a subset of patients requiring permanent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion. Characteristics of this patient subset are not well defined.

OBJECTIVE: To define preoperative and postoperative variables that predict the need for postoperative CSF diversion in adult patients with PFTs.

METHODS: We surveyed the CNS (Central Nervous System) Tumor Outcomes Registry at Emory (CTORE) for patients who underwent PFT resection at 3 tertiary-care centers between 2006 and 2019. Demographic, radiographic, perioperative, and dispositional data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate models.

RESULTS:We included 617 patients undergoing PFT resection for intra-axial (57%) or extraaxial (43%) lesions. Gross total resection was achieved in 62% of resections. Approximately 13% of patients required permanent CSF diversion/shunting. Only 31.5% of patients who required pre- or intraop external ventricular drain (EVD) placement needed permanent CSF diversion. On logistic regression, size, transependymal flow, use of perioperative EVD, postoperative intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and surgical complications were predictors of permanent CSF diversion. Preoperative tumor size was only independent predictor of postoperative shunting in patients with subtotal resection. In patients with intra-axial tumors, transependymal flow (P = .014), postoperative IVH (P = .001), surgical complications (P = .013), and extent of resection (P = .03) predicted need for shunting. In extra-axial tumors, surgical complications were the major predictor (P = .022).

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that presence of preoperative hydrocephalus in patients with PFT does not necessarily entail the need for permanent CSF diversion. We report the major predictive factors for needing permanent CSF diversion.