Longstanding overt ventriculomegaly in adults (LOVA) with patent aqueduct

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3343–3352

Longstanding overt ventriculomegaly in adults (LOVA) represents a form of chronic adulthood hydrocephalus with symptomatic manifestation in late adulthood. Based on the patency of the aqueduct, two different subcohorts of LOVA can be distinguished. Surgical treatments of this condition are also debated. Therefore, we analyzed preoperative characteristics and clinical outcome after different surgical treatments in a subgroup of LOVA patients with a patent aqueduct.

Methods Eighteen LOVA patients with a patent aqueduct consecutively treated at our institution between July 2013 and December 2019 were analyzed for this study. Median age was 70 years. Preoperative radiological and clinical features, surgical procedures (ventriculo-peritoneal shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy), and outcomes were collected. Successful outcome was qualitatively defined as an improvement or a halt of progression of the presenting symptoms at follow-up, and quantitatively by changes in mRS and iNPHGS scales.

Results Twelve patients underwent an ETV as a primary treatment, while 6 underwent VPS. A total of 22.2% of them were lost to follow-up. Median follow-up time was 38 months. Six patients (66.7%) in the ETV cohort achieved a successful outcome after treatment, with a complication rate of 11.1%. Two patients underwent rescue VPS after ETV failure with a good outcome. Four patients (100%) underwent primary VPS and achieved a satisfactory outcome after treatment, with a reported complications rate of 25%.

Conclusion LOVA with patent aqueduct represents, in our opinion, a distinct clinical form of chronic hydrocephalus. For this subgroup, as well as for other forms of LOVA, ETV remains an acceptable first-line treatment option considering the good results, and the low complication rate, obtained in those patients and the hypothesis that hydrocephalus is due to an “intracisternal” obstruction.