Role of Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: Preliminary Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial

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Neurosurgery 72:845–854, 2013

Currently, the most common treatment for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) is a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS), generally with programmable valve implantation. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is another treatment option, and it does not require prosthesis implantation.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the functional neurological outcome in patients after 12 months of treatment with INPH by using 2 different techniques: ETV or VPS.

METHODS: Randomized, parallel, open-label trial involving the study of 42 patients with INPH and a positive response to the tap test, from January 2009 to January 2012. ETV was performed with a rigid endoscope with a 30 lens (Minop, Aesculap), and VPS was performed with a fixed-pressure valve (PS Medical, Medtronic). The outcome was assessed 12 months after surgery. The neurological function outcomes were based on the results of 6 clinical scales: mini-mental, Berg balance, dynamic gait index, functional independence measure, timed up and go, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups after 12 months of follow-ups, and the VPS group showed better improvement results (ETV = 50%, VPS = 76.9%).

CONCLUSION: Compared with ETV, VPS is a superior method because it had better functional neurological outcomes 12 months after surgery.