Predictors of long-term shunt-dependent hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

J Neurosurg 113:774–780, 2010. DOI: 10.3171/2010.2.JNS09376

The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

Methods. The authors evaluated the incidence of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in a consecutive cohort of 580 patients with SAH who were admitted to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit of Columbia University Medical Center between July 1996 and September 2002. Patient demographics, 24-hour admission variables, initial CT scan characteristics, daily transcranial Doppler variables, and development of in-hospital complications were analyzed. Odds ratios and 95% CIs for candidate predictors were calculated using multivariate nominal logistic regression.

Results. Admission glucose of at least 126 mg/dl (adjusted OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.0–2.6), admission brain CT scan with a bicaudate index of at least 0.20 (adjusted OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.0–2.0), Fisher Grade 4 (adjusted OR 2.71; 95% CI 1.2–5.7), fourth ventricle hemorrhage (adjusted OR 1.78; 95% CI 1.1–2.7), and development of nosocomial meningitis (adjusted OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.4–3.7) were independently associated with shunt dependency.

Conclusions. These data suggest that permanent CSF diversion after aneurysmal SAH may be independently predicted by hyperglycemia at admission, findings on the admission CT scan (Fisher Grade 4, fourth ventricle intraventricular hemorrhage, and bicaudate index ≥ 0.20), and development of nosocomial meningitis. Future research is needed to assess if tight glycemic control, reduction of fourth ventricle clot burden, and prevention of nosocomial meningitis may reduce the need for permanent CSF diversion after aneurysmal SAH.