Endoscopic Treatment of Isolated Fourth Ventricle: Clinical and Radiological Outcome

Neurosurgery 70:847–859, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318236717f

Treatment of an isolated fourth ventricle should be considered when clinical symptoms or a significant mass effect occur.

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical and radiographic outcomes after endoscopic transaqueductal or transcisternal stent placement into the fourth ventricle. METHODS: In 19 patients (age, 34th week of gestation-20 years; median age, 17.5 months), 22 endoscopic procedures were performed. Either an aqueductoplasty or, in cases with a supratentorially extended fourth ventricular component, an interventricular fenestration was performed. In all patients, a stent connected to the cerebrospinal fluid–diverting shunt was placed through the fenestration. Surgical complications and radiological and clinical outcomes are reported.

RESULTS: All 19 patients had a mean follow-up of 26.9 ± 18.2 months. No persisting neurological complications were observed; 27.3% of patients experienced complete resolution of presenting symptoms, whereas 68.3% demonstrated partial resolution. Symptoms with short duration (< 4 weeks) resolved completely, whereas long-standing symptoms partially improved. Short-term shunt complications (n = 2; insufficient catheter placement and subdural hygroma) and a need for long-term stent revisions (n = 3; stent retraction and shunt revision for other causes) were observed. The mean fourth ventricular volume was reduced after surgery (44.2 ± 25.8 to 23.1 ± 21.9 mL; P < .01). Pontine diameter increased from 0.9 ± 0.3 to 1.2 ± 0.3 cm (P < .01) after surgery. Both effects were still demonstrated on later radiological follow-up of 24.4 ± 14.2 months (fourth ventricular size, 24.7 ± 28.1 mL; P < .01; pontine diameter, 1.3 ± 0.3 cm; P < .01).

CONCLUSION: The clinical and radiological outcomes after endoscopic aqueductoplasty and interventriculostomy in children with an isolated fourth ventricle indicate that this procedure is feasible, effective, and safe.

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