Efficacy and Safety of Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration for Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 71:464–473, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31825b1e8d

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has become the procedure of choice in the treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus. In certain cases, standard ETV might not be technically possible or may engender significant risk.

OBJECTIVE: To present an alternative through the lamina terminalis (LT) by a transventricular, transforaminal approach with flexible neuroendoscopy and to discuss the indications, technique, neuroendoscopic findings, and outcomes.

METHODS: Between 1994 and 2010, all patients who underwent endoscopic LT fenestration as an alternative to ETV were analyzed and prospectively followed up. The decision to perform an LT fenestration was made intraoperatively.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients, ranging in age from 7 months to 76 years (mean, 28.1 years), underwent endoscopic LT fenestration. Patients had obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to neurocysticercosis (11 patients), neoplasms (6 patients), congenital aqueductal stenosis (3 patients), and other (5 patients). Thirteen patients (52%) had had at least 1 ventriculoperitoneal shunt that malfunctioned; 6 patients (24%) had undergone a previous endoscopic procedure. Intraoperative findings that led to an LT fenestration were the following: ETV not feasible to perform, basal subarachnoid space not sufficient, or adhesions in the third ventricle. No perioperative complications occurred. The mean follow-up period was 63.76 months. Overall, 19 patients (76%) had resolutions of symptoms, had no evidence of ventriculomegaly, and did not require another procedure. Six (24%) required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

CONCLUSION: Endoscopic transventricular transforaminal LT fenestration with flexible neuroendoscopy is feasible with a low incidence of complications. It is a good alternative to standard ETV. Adequate intraoperative assessment of ETV success is necessary to identify patients who will benefit.