The Management of Hydrocephalus in Midline Posterior Fossa Cystic Collections

Neurosurgery 93:576–585, 2023

Hydrocephalus frequently occurs with midline posterior fossa cystic collections. The classification of this heterogeneous group of developmental anomalies, including Dandy–Walker malformation, persisting Blake’s pouch, retrocerebellar arachnoid cysts, and mega cisterna magna, is subject of debate. The absence of diagnostic criteria is confusing regarding the ideal management of PFCC-related hydrocephalus.

OBJECTIVE: To decipher the surgical strategy for the treatment of children with PFCC-related hydrocephalus through a retrospective analysis of the surgical outcome driven by their clinical and radiological presentation.

METHODS: This study enrolled patients operated of symptomatic PFCC-related hydrocephalus. Clinical and MRI features were examined, as well as the surgical outcome. Unbiased subgroup classification of the patients was performed with multiple component analysis as a function of imaging characteristics and hierarchical clustering on principal component. Outcome was assessed with binomial logistic regression and Kaplan–Meier analysis.

RESULTS: Fifty-four patients were included between 2007 and 2021. Multiple component analysis suggested that cerebellar and vermian hypoplasia, vermian rotation, basal–tentorial angle, and fastigial angle were strongly correlated. Hierarchical clustering and the distribution of the patients in the bidimensional plot showed the clear segregation of 3 major clusters, which correlated with the radiological diagnosis (P < .01). Binomial logistic regression and survival analysis showed that endoscopic third ventriculostomy was an effective treatment for patients with persisting Blake’s pouch, while failing to control hydrocephalus in most of patients with Dandy–Walker malformation.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative MRI in patients with PFCC-related hydrocephalus is essential to better define the diagnosis. The choice of treatment strategy notably relies on correct radiological diagnosis.