Retrospective comparison of long‑term functionality and revision rate of two different shunt valves in pediatric and adult patients

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:2541–2549

The most frequent therapy of hydrocephalus is implantation of ventriculoperitoneal shunts for diverting cerebrospinal into the peritoneal cavity. We compared two adjustable valves, proGAV and proGAV 2.0, for complications resulting in revision surgery.

Methods Four hundred patients undergoing primary shunt implantation between 2014 and 2020 were analyzed for overall revision rate, 1-year revision rate, and revision-free survival observing patient age, sex, etiology of hydrocephalus, implantation site, prior diversion of cerebrospinal fluid, and cause of revision.

Results All data were available of all 400 patients (female/male 208/192). Overall, 99 patients underwent revision surgery after primary implantation. proGAV valve was implanted in 283 patients, and proGAV 2.0 valves were implanted in 117 patients. There was no significant difference between the two shunt valves concerning revision rate (p = 0.8069), 1-year revision rate (p = 0.9077), revision-free survival (p = 0.6921), and overall survival (p = 0.3232). Regarding 1-year revision rate, we observed no significant difference between the two shunt valves in pediatric patients (40.7% vs 27.6%; p = 0.2247). Revision operation had to be performed more frequently in pediatric patients (46.6% vs 24.8%; p = 0.0093) with a significant higher number of total revisions with proGAV than proGAV 2.0 (33 of 59 implanted shunts [55.9%] vs. 8 of 29 implanted shunts [27.6%]; p = 0.0110) most likely due to longer follow-up in the proGAV-group. For this reason, we clearly put emphasis on analyzing results regarding 1-year revision rate.

Conclusion According to the target variables we analyzed, aside from lifetime revision rate in pediatric patients, there is no significant difference between the two shunt valves.

Internal Ventricular Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt for Adult Hydrocephalus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Infection Rate

Hydrocephalus is a common neurological condition that usually requires internal ventricular cerebrospinal fluid shunt (IVCSFS). The reported infection rate (IR) varies greatly from below 1% up to over 50%, but no meta-analysis to assess the overall IR has ever been performed.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the IVCSFS overall IR in the adult population and search for associated factors.

METHODS: Six databases were searched from January 1990 to July 2022. Only original articles reporting on adult IVCSFS IR were included. Random-effects meta-analysis with generalized linear mixed model method and logit transformation was used to assess the overall IR. RESULTS: Of 1703 identified articles, 44 were selected, reporting on 57259 patients who had IVCSFS implantation and 2546 infections. The pooled IR value and its 95% CI were 4.75%, 95% CI (3.8 to 5.92). Ninety-five percent prediction interval ranged from 1.19% to 17.1%. The patients who had IVCSFS after intracranial hemorrhage showed a higher IR (7.65%, 95% CI [5.82 to 10], P-value = .002). A meta-regression by year of publication found a decreasing IR (À0.031, 95% CI [À0.06 to 0.003], P-value = .032) over the past 32 years.

CONCLUSION: IVCSF is a procedure that every neurosurgeon should be well trained to perform. However, the complication rate remains high, with an estimated overall IR of 4.75%. The IR is especially elevated for hydrocephalic patients who require IVCSFS after intracranial hemorrhage. However, decades of surgical advances may have succeeded in reducing IR over the past 32 years.

Neurosurgery 92:894–904, 2023

Failure of Internal Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Overall Prevalence in Adults

World Neurosurg. (2023) 169:20-30

Reported rates of failures of internal cerebrospinal fluid shunt (ICSFS) vary greatly from less than 5% to more than 50% and no meta-analysis to assess the overall prevalence has been performed. We estimated the failure rate after ICSFS insertion and searched for associated factors.

METHODS: Six databases were searched from January 1990 to February 2022. Only original articles reporting the rate of adult shunt failure were included. Random-effects meta-analysis with a generalized linear mixed model method and logit transformation was used to compute the overall failure prevalence. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were implemented to search for associated factors.

RESULTS: Of 1763 identified articles, 46 were selected, comprising 70,859 ICSFS implantations and 13,603 shunt failures, suggesting an accumulated incidence of 19.2%. However, the calculated pooled prevalence value and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were 22.7% (95% CI, 19.8e5.8). The CI of the different estimates did not overlap, indicating a strong heterogeneity confirmed by a high I 2 of 97.5% (95% CI, 97.1e97.8; P < 0.001; s 2 [ 0.3). Ninety-five percent prediction interval of shunt failure prevalence ranged from 8.75% to 47.36%. A meta-regression of prevalence of publication found a barely significant decreasing failure rate of about 2% per year (e2.11; 95% CI, e4.02 to e0.2; P [ 0.031).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite being a simple neurosurgical procedure, ICSFS insertion has one of the highest risk of complications, with failure prevalence involving more than 1 patient of 5. Nonetheless, all efforts to lower this high level of shunt failure seem to be effective.

Review of Cerebrospinal Fluid Physiology and Dynamics: A Call for Medical Education Reform

Neurosurgery 91:1–7, 2022

The flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been described as a unidirectional system with the choroid plexus serving as the primary secretor of CSF and the arachnoid granulations as primary reabsorption site. This theory of neurosurgical forefathers has been universally adopted and taught as dogma. Many neuroscientists have found difficulty reconciling this theory with common pathologies, and recent studies have found that this “classic” hypothesis may not represent the full picture.

OBJECTIVE: To review modern CSF dynamic theories and to call formedical education reform.

METHODS: We reviewed the literature from January 1990 to December 2020. We searched the PubMed database using key terms “cerebrospinal fluid circulation,” “cerebrospinal fluid dynamics,” “cerebrospinal fluid physiology,” “glymphatic system,” and “glymphatic pathway.” We selected articles with a primary aim to discuss either CSF dynamics and/or the glymphatic system.

RESULTS: The Bulat–Klarica–Oreˇskovi´c hypothesis purports that CSF is secreted and reabsorbed throughout the craniospinal axis. CSF demonstrates similar physiology to that of water elsewhere in the body. CSF “circulates” throughout the subarachnoid space in a pulsatile to-and-fro fashion. Osmolarity plays a critical role in CSF dynamics. Aquaporin-4 and the glymphatic system contribute to CSF volume and flow by establishing osmolarity gradients and facilitating CSF movement. Multiple studies demonstrate that the choroid plexus does not play any significant role in CSF circulation.

CONCLUSION: We have highlighted major studies to illustrate modern principles of CSF dynamics. Despite these, the medical education system has been slow to reform curricula and update learning resources.

The added value of cerebrospinal fluid analysis in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage after negative noncontrast CT

J Neurosurg 136:1024–1028, 2022

In patients presenting within 6 hours after signs and symptoms of suspected subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), CSF examination is judged to be no longer necessary if a noncontrast CT (NCCT) scan rules out SAH. In this study, the authors evaluated the performance of NCCT to rule out SAH in patients with positive CSF findings.

METHODS Between January 2006 and April 2018, 1657 patients were admitted with a nontraumatic SAH. Of these patients, 1546 had positive SAH findings on the initial NCCT and 111 patients had an NCCT scan that was reported as negative in the acute setting, but with positive CSF examination for subarachnoid blood. Demographic data, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade, and SAH time points (ictus, time of NCCT, and time of lumbar puncture) were collected. All 111 NCCT scans were reevaluated by an experienced neuroradiologist.

RESULTS Of the 111 patients with positive CSF findings, SAH was initially missed on NCCT in 25 patients (23%). Reevaluation of 21 patients presenting within 6 hours of symptom onset confirmed NCCT negative findings in 12 (5 aneurysms), an aneurysmal SAH (aSAH) pattern in 8 (7 aneurysms), and a perimesencephalic pattern in 1 patient. Reevaluation of 90 patients presenting after 6 hours confirmed negative NCCT findings in 74 patients (37 aneurysms), aSAH pattern in 10 (4 aneurysms), and a perimesencephalic pattern in 6 (2 aneurysms).

CONCLUSIONS CSF examination is still mandatory to rule out SAH as NCCT can fail to show blood, even within 6 hours after symptom onset. In addition, the diagnosis SAH was frequently missed during initial reporting.

External Lumbar Drainage following Traumatic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 89:395–405, 2021

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in elevations in intracranial pressure (ICP) that are refractory to standard therapies. Several studies have investigated the utility of external lumbar drainage (ELD) in this setting.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of ELD or lumbar puncture with regard to immediate effect on ICP, durability of the effect on ICP, complications, and neurological outcomes in adults with refractory traumatic intracranial hypertension.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted beginning with a comprehensive search of PubMed/EMBASE. Two investigators reviewed studies for eligibility and extracted data. The strength of evidence was evaluated using GRADE methodology. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to calculate pooled estimates.

RESULTS: Nine articles detailing 6 studies (N = 110) were included. There was moderate evidence that ELD has a significant immediate effect on ICP; the pooled effect size was –19.5 mmHg (95% CI –21.0 to –17.9 mmHg). There was low evidence to indicate a durable effect of ELD on ICP up to at least 24 h following ELD. There was low evidence to indicate that ELD was safe and associated with a low rate of clinical cerebral herniation or meningitis. There was very low evidence pertaining to neurological outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Given preliminary data indicating potential safety and feasibility in highly selected cases, the use of ELD in adults with severe TBI and refractory intracranial hypertension in the presence of open basal cisterns and absence of large focal hematoma merits further high-quality investigation; the ideal conditions for potential application remain to be determined.

Syringomyelia Resolution Following Chiari Surgery: A Novel Scale for Communication and Research

Neurosurgery 88( 1) 2021: 131–139

The pathophysiological connection between Chiari malformation and syringomyelia is accepted. Debate remains, however, how can we best define changes in syringomyelia following surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To introduce a grading system focusing on syrinx reduction based on routinely and reproducible radiological information, and provide a suggestion of the application of this scale for prediction of patient’s prognoses.

METHODS: Data from 48 patients with Chiari malformation and syringomyelia were compiled. We calculated syrinx cross-sectional area by approximating an ellipse in the largest axial plane. We compared the percentage of reduction or enlargement following surgery. The percentage change was grouped into four grades: Grade 0 = Increasing size, grade I ≤ 50% reduction, grade II = 50% to 90% reduction, grade III ≥ 90% reduction.

RESULTS: A total of 89.6% of patients had syrinx improvement after surgery. A total of 5 patients were grade 0, 14 were grade I, 20 patients were grade II, and 9 patients met criteria for grade III. The mean postoperative syrinx area was 24.1 mm2 (0-169 mm2) with a mean syrinx reduction of 62.7%.

CONCLUSION: Radiological improvement of syringomyelia can be mathematically defined and standardized to assist in communication in outcome-based trials. Radiological resolution is expected most patients.

Ultra-low-pressure hydrocephalic state in NPH: benefits of therapeutic siphoning with adjustable antigravity valves

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:2967–2974

Idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a condition of the elderly treated by ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) insertion. A subset of NPH patients respond only temporarily to shunt insertion despite low valve opening pressure. This study aims to describe our experience of patients who benefit from further CSF drainage by adding adjustable antigravity valves and draining CSF at ultra-low pressure.

Methods Single-centre retrospective case series of patients undergoing shunt valve revision from an adjustable differential pressure valve with fixed antigravity unit to a system incorporating an adjustable gravitational valve (Miethke proSA). Patients were screened from a database of NPH patients undergoing CSF diversion over 10 consecutive years (April 2008– April 2018). Clinical records were retrospectively reviewed for interventions and clinical outcomes.

Results Nineteen (10F:9M) patients underwent elective VP shunt revision to a system incorporating an adjustable gravitational valve. Mean age 77.1 ± 7.1 years (mean ± SD). Eleven patients (58%) showed significant improvement in walking speed following shunt revision. Fourteen patients/carers (74%) reported subjective improvements in symptoms following shunt revision.

Conclusions Patients presenting symptoms relapse following VP shunting may represent a group of patients with ultra-low pressure hydrocephalus, for whom further CSF drainage may lead to an improvement in symptoms. These cases may benefit from shunt revision with an adjustable gravitational valve, adjustment of which can lead to controlled siphoning of CSF and drain CSF despite ultra-low CSF pressure.

Diagnostic Accuracy of Non-Invasive Thermal Evaluation of Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Flow in Shunt Malfunction

Neurosurgery 87:939–948, 2020

Thermal flow evaluation (TFE) is a non-invasive method to assess ventriculoperitoneal shunt function. Flow detected by TFE is a negative predictor of the need for revision surgery. Further optimization of testing protocols, evaluation in multiple centers, and integration with clinical and imaging impressions prompted the current study.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the diagnostic accuracy of 2 TFE protocols, with micropumper (TFE+MP) or without (TFE-only), to neuro-imaging in patients emergently presenting with symptoms concerning for shunt malfunction.

METHODS: We performed a prospective multicenter operator-blinded trial of a consecutive series of patients who underwent evaluation for shunt malfunction. TFE was performed, and preimaging clinician impressions and imaging results were recorded. The primary outcome was shunt obstruction requiring neurosurgical revision within 7 d. Noninferiority of the sensitivity of TFE vs neuro-imaging for detecting shunt obstruction was tested using a prospectively determined a priori margin of −2.5%.

RESULTS: We enrolled 406 patients at 10 centers. Of these, 68/348 (20%) evaluated with TFE+MP and 30/215 (14%) with TFE-only had shunt obstruction. The sensitivity for detecting obstruction was 100% (95% CI: 88%-100%) for TFE-only, 90% (95% CI: 80%-96%) for TFE+MP, 76% (95% CI: 65%-86%) for imaging in TFE+MP cohort, and 77%(95% CI: 58%- 90%) for imaging in the TFE-only cohort. Difference in sensitivities between TFE methods and imaging did not exceed the non-inferiority margin.

CONCLUSION: TFE is non-inferior to imaging in ruling out shunt malfunction and may help avoid imaging and other steps. For this purpose, TFE only is favored over TFE+MP.

Comparison of the CSF dynamics between patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and healthy volunteers

J Neurosurg 131:1018–1023, 2019

Intracranial pressure (ICP), outflow resistance (R out ), and amplitude of cardiac-related ICP pulsations (AMPs) are established parameters to describe the CSF hydrodynamic system and are assumed, but not confirmed, to be disturbed in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH). The aim of this study was to compare the CSF hydrodynamic profile between patients with INPH and healthy volunteers.

METHODS Sixty-two consecutive INPH patients (mean age 74 years) and 40 healthy volunteers (mean age 70 years) were included. Diagnosis was made by two independent neurologists who assessed patients’ history, neurological status, and MRI studies. A CSF dynamic investigation through the lumbar route was performed: ICP and other CSF dynamic variables were blinded to the neurologists during the diagnostic process and were not used for establishing the diagnosis of INPH.

RESULTS R out was significantly higher in INPH (R out 17.1 vs 11.1; p < 0.001), though a substantial number of INPH subjects had normal R out . There were no differences between INPH patients and controls regarding ICP (mean 11.5 mm Hg). At resting pressure, there was a trend that AMP in INPH was increased (2.4 vs 2.0 mm Hg; p = 0.109). The relationship between AMP and ICP was that they shared the same slope, but the curve was significantly shifted to the left for INPH (reduced P 0 [p < 0.05]; i.e., higher AMP for the same ICP).

CONCLUSIONS This study established that the CSF dynamic profile of INPH deviates from that of healthy volunteers and that INPH should thus be regarded as a disease in which intracranial hydrodynamics are part of the pathophysiology.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01188382 (

Noninvasive Thermal Evaluation of Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Patency and Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow Using a Flow Enhancing Device

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 2, August 2019, Pages 240–249

While a noninvasive flow determination would be desirable in the diagnosis of cerebrospinal fluid shunt malfunction, existing studies have not yet defined a role for thermal flow detection.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a revised test protocol using a micropumper designed to transiently enhance flow during thermal testing to determine whether thermal detection of flow is associated with progression to shunt revision surgery.

METHODS: Eighty-two unique tests were performed in 71 shunts. The primary outcome, need for revision within 7 d of testing, was compared with results of micropumper-augmented thermal flow detection. Statistical analysis was based on blind interpretation of test results and raw temperature data recorded during testing.

RESULTS: The test was sensitive (73%) and specific (68%) in predicting need for revision, with 5.6-fold higher probability of revision when flow was not detected. Negative predictive value in our sample was 94.2%. The probability of not requiring revision increased with increasing total temperature drop. Analysis of various possible thresholds showed that the optimal temperature cutoff may be lower than suggested by the manufacturer (0.125◦C vs 0.2◦C).

CONCLUSION: This is the first study to report a strong association between thermal flow evaluation and a clinical impression that a shunt is not malfunctioning. The current recommended threshold may increase the false positive rate unnecessarily, and as clinicians gain experience with the method, they may find value in examining the temperature curves themselves. Multicenter studies are suggested to further define a role for this diagnostic test.

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: 120-day clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes after stent insertion into the dural venous sinus

J Neurosurg 129:723–731, 2018

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is commonly associated with venous sinus stenosis. In recent years, transvenous dural venous sinus stent (DVSS) insertion has emerged as a potential therapy for resistant cases. However, there remains considerable uncertainty over the safety and efficacy of this procedure, in particular the incidence of intraprocedural and delayed complications and in the longevity of sinus patency, pressure gradient obliteration, and therapeutic clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to determine clinical, radiological, and manometric outcomes at 3–4 months after DVSS in this treated IIH cohort.

METHODS Clinical, radiographic, and manometric data before and 3–4 months after DVSS were reviewed in this single-center case series. All venographic and manometric procedures were performed under local anesthesia with the patient supine.

RESULTS Forty-one patients underwent DVSS venography/manometry within 120 days. Sinus pressure reduction of between 11 and 15 mm Hg was achieved 3–4 months after DVSS compared with pre-stent baseline, regardless of whether the procedure was primary or secondary (after shunt surgery). Radiographic obliteration of anatomical stenosis correlating with reduction in pressure gradients was observed. The complication rate after DVSS was 4.9% and stent survival was 87.8% at 120 days. At least 20% of patients developed restenosis following DVSS and only 63.3% demonstrated an improvement or resolution of papilledema.

CONCLUSIONS Reduced venous sinus pressures were observed at 120 days after the procedure. DVSS showed lower complication rates than shunts, but the clinical outcome data were less convincing. To definitively compare the outcomes between DVSS and shunts in IIH, a randomized prospective study is needed.

GAVCA Study: Randomized, Multicenter Trial to Evaluate the Quality of Ventricular Catheter Placement with a Mobile Health Assisted Guidance Technique

Neurosurgery 83:252–262, 2018

Freehand ventricular catheter placementmay represent limited accuracy for the surgeon’s intent to achieve primary optimal catheter position.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the accuracy of a ventricular catheter guide assisted by a simple mobile health application (mhealth app) in a multicenter, randomized, controlled, simple blinded study (GAVCA study).

METHODS: In total, 139 eligible patients were enrolled in 9 centers. Catheter placement was evaluated by 3 different components: number of ventricular cannulation attempts, a grading scale, and the anatomical position of the catheter tip. The primary endpoint was the rate of primary cannulation of grade I catheter position in the ipsilateral ventricle. The secondary endpoints were rate of intraventricular position of the catheter’s perforations, early ventricular catheter failure, and complications.

RESULTS: The primary endpoint was reached in 70% of the guided group vs 56.5% (freehand group; odds ratio 1.79, 95% confidence interval 0.89-3.61). The primary successful puncture rate was 100% vs 91.3% (P= .012). Catheter perforations were located completely inside the ventricle in 81.4% (guided group) and 65.2% (freehand group; odds ratio 2.34, 95% confidence interval 1.07-5.1). No differences occurred in early ventricular catheter failure, complication rate, duration of surgery, or hospital stay.

CONCLUSION: The guided ventricular catheter application proved to be a safe and simple method. The primary endpoint revealed a nonsignificant improvement of optimal catheter placement among the groups. Long-term follow-up is necessary in order to evaluate differences in catheter survival among shunted patients.

Novel method for dynamic control of intracranial pressure

J Neurosurg 126:1629–1640, 2017

Intracranial pressure (ICP) pulsations are generally considered a passive result of the pulsatility of blood flow. Active experimental modification of ICP pulsations would allow investigation of potential active effects on blood and CSF flow and potentially create a new platform for the treatment of acute and chronic low blood flow states as well as a method of CSF substance clearance and delivery. This study presents a novel method and device for altering the ICP waveform via cardiac-gated volume changes.

METHODS The novel device used in this experiment (named Cadence) consists of a small air-filled inelastic balloon (approximately 1.0 ml) implanted into the intracranial space and connected to an external programmable pump, triggered by an R-wave detector. Balloons were implanted into the epidural space above 1 of the hemispheres of 19 canines for up to 10 hours. When activated, the balloons were programed to cyclically inflate with the cardiac cycle with variable delay, phase, and volume. The ICP response was measured in both hemispheres. Additionally, cerebral blood flow (heat diffusion and laser Doppler) was studied in 16 canines.

RESULTS This system, depending on the inflation pattern of the balloon, allowed a flattening of the ICP waveform, increase in the ICP waveform amplitude, or phase shift of the wave. This occurred with small mean ICP changes, typically around ± 2 mm Hg (15%). Bilateral ICP effects were observed with activation of the device: balloon inflation at each systole increased the systolic ICP pulse (up to 16 mm Hg, 1200%) and deflation at systole decreased or even inverted the systolic ICP pulse (-0.5 to -19 mm Hg, -5% to -1600%) in a dose-(balloon volume) dependent fashion. No aphysiological or deleterious effects on systemic pressure (≤ ±10 mm Hg; 13% change in mean pressure) or cardiac rate (≤ ± 17 beats per minute; 16% change) were observed during up to 4 hours of balloon activity.

CONCLUSIONS The results of these initial studies using an intracranially implanted, cardiac-gated, volume-oscillating balloon suggest the Cadence device can be used to modify ICP pulsations, without physiologically deleterious effects on mean ICP, systemic vascular effects, or brain injury. This device and technique may be used to study the role of ICP pulsatility in intracranial hemo- and hydrodynamic processes and introduces the creation of a potential platform of a cardiac-gated system for treatment of acute and chronic low blood flow states, and diseases requiring augmentation of CSF substance clearance or delivery.

One-year outcome in patients with idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus: comparison of lumboperitoneal shunt to ventriculoperitoneal shunt

J Neurosurg 125:1483–1492, 2016

Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is treated with cerebrospinal fluid shunting, and implantation of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is the current standard treatment. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of VPSs and lumboperitoneal shunts (LPSs) for patients with iNPH.

Methods The authors conducted a prospective multicenter study of LPS use for patients with iNPH. Eighty-three patients with iNPH (age 60 to 85 years) who presented with ventriculomegaly and high-convexity and medial subarachnoid space tightness on MR images were recruited from 20 neurological or neurosurgical centers in Japan between March 1, 2010, and October 19, 2011. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score 1 year after surgery, and the secondary outcome included scores on the iNPH grading scale (iNPHGS). A previously conducted VPS cohort study with the same inclusion criteria and primary and secondary end points was used as a historical control.

Results: The proportion of patients who achieved a favorable outcome (i.e., improvement of at least 1 point in their mRS score) was 63% (95% CI 51%–73%) and was comparable to values reported with VPS implantation (69%, 95% CI 59%–78%). Using the iNPHGS, the 1-year improvement rate was 75% (95% CI 64%–84%) and was comparable to the rate found in the VPS study (77%, 95% CI 68%–84%). The proportion of patients experiencing serious adverse events (SAEs) and non-SAEs did not differ signi cantly between the groups at 1 year after surgery (SAEs: 19 [22%] of 87 LPS patients vs 15 [15%] of 100 VPS patients, p = 0.226; non-SAEs: 24 [27.6%] LPS patients vs 20 [20%] VPS patients, p = 0.223). However, shunt revisions were more common in LPS-treated patients than in VPS-treated patients (6 [7%] vs 1 [1%]).

Conclusions The efficacy and safety rates for LPSs with programmable valves are comparable to those for VPSs for the treatment of patients with iNPH. Despite the relatively high shunt failure rate, an LPS can be the treatment of choice because of its minimal invasiveness and avoidance of brain injury.


Suprasellar Arachnoid Cysts: Toward a New Simple Classification Based on Prognosis and Treatment Modality

Suprasellar Arachnoid Cysts- Toward a New Simple Classification Based on Prognosis and Treatment Modality

Neurosurgery 78:370–380, 2016

Suprasellar arachnoid cysts (SAC) represent between 9% and 21% of pediatric arachnoid cysts. Recent improvements in magnetic resonance imaging, as well as increasing prenatal diagnosis, have allowed more precise knowledge and follow-up.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel classification of SAC.

METHODS: We present 35 cases of SAC treated between 1996 and 2014. Patient records and imaging studies were reviewed retrospectively to assess symptomatology, radiological findings, treatment, and long-term follow-up.

RESULTS: Fourteen SAC were diagnosed prenatally (39%). We observed 15 (43%) cases presenting hydrocephalus (SAC-1) removing Liliequist membrane downward. Lower forms (SAC-2) with free third ventricle were observed in 11 (31%) cases. Asymmetrical forms (SAC-3) with Sylvian or temporal extension were seen in the 9 (26%) remaining patients. Twenty-three (66%) patients were treated by ventriculocisternostomy, 3 (8.5%) by shunt surgery, and 3 (8.5%) by craniotomy. Six (17%) patients had no surgery, including 5 cases (14%) that had prenatal diagnosis. Outcomes were initially favorable in 26 cases (87%). Eight (22%) patients had endocrine abnormalities at the end of the follow-up, 3 (8.5%) had developmental delay, and 6 (17%) had minor neuropsychological disturbances.

CONCLUSION: SAC are heterogeneous entities. SAC-1 may come from an expansion of the diencephalic leaf of the Liliequist membrane. SAC-2 show a dilatation of the interpeduncular cistern and correspond to a defect of the mesencephalic leaf of the Liliequist membrane. SAC-3 correspond to the asymmetrical forms expanding to other subarachnoid spaces. Surgical treatment is not always necessary. The recognition of the different subtypes will allow choosing the best treatment option.

Assessment of ETV patency with the 3D-SPACE technique

Assessment of third ventriculostomy patency with the 3D-SPACE technique

J Neurosurg 122:1347–1355, 2015

The goal of this study was to determine the value of the 3D sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts using different flip-angle evolutions (3D-SPACE) technique in the evaluation of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) patency.

Methods Twenty-six patients with ETV were examined using 3-T MRI units. Sagittal-plane 3D-SPACE with variant flip-angle mode, 3D T1-weighted (T1W), and 3D heavily T2-weighted (T2W) images were obtained with isotropic voxel sizes. Also, sagittal-axial plane phase-contrast cine (PC)-MR images were obtained. The following findings were evaluated: diameters of stoma and third ventricle, flow-void sign on 3D-SPACE and PC-MR images, integrity of the third ventricle on heavily T2W images, and quantitative PC-MRI parameters of the stoma. Obtained sequences were evaluated singly, in combination with one another, and all together.

Results The mean area, flow, and velocity values measured at the level of stoma in patients with patent stoma were significantly higher than those measured in patients with closed stoma (p < 0.05). There was significant correlation among PC-MRI, 3D-SPACE, and 3D heavily T2W techniques regarding assessment of ETV patency (p < 0.001). The 3D-SPACE technique provided the lowest rate of ambiguous results.

Conclusions The 3D-SPACE technique seems to be the most efficient one for determination of ETV patency. The authors suggest the use of 3D-SPACE as a stand-alone first-line sequence in addition to routine brain MRI protocols in assessing patients with ETV, thereby decreasing scan time and reserving the use of a combination of additional sequences such as PC-MRI and 3D heavily T2W images in suspicious or complex cases.

Proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid: toward the identification of biomarkers for gliomas


Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:367–380

Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors in adults and, despite advances in the understandings of glioma pathogenesis in the genetic era, they are still ineradicable, justifying the need to develop more reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for this malignancy. Because changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are suggested to be capable of sensitively reflecting pathological processes, e.g., neoplastic conditions, in the central nervous system, CSF has been deemed a valuable source for potential biomarkers screening in this era of proteomics.

This systematic review focused on the proteomic analysis of glioma CSF that has been published to date and identified a total of 19 differentially expressed proteins. Further functional and protein-protein interaction assessments were performed by using Protein Analysis Through Evolutionary Relationships (PANTHER) website and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software, which revealed several important protein networks (e.g., IL- 6/STAT-3) and four novel focus proteins (IL-6, galanin (GAL), HSPA5, andWNT4) that might be involved in glioma pathogenesis.

The concentrations of these focus proteins were subsequently determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in an independent set of CSF and tumor cyst fluid (CF) samples. Specifically, glioblastoma (GBM) CF had significantly lower GAL, HSPA5, andWNT4 levels than CSF from different grades of glioma. In contrast, IL-6 level was significantly higher in GBM CF when compared with CSF and, among different CSF groups, was highest in GBM CSF.

Therefore, these candidate protein biomarkers, identified from both the literatures and in silico analysis, may have potentials in clinical diagnosis, prognosis evaluation, treatment response monitoring, and novel therapeutic targets identification for patients with glioma.

Comparison of the accuracy of ventricular catheter placement using freehand placement, ultrasonic guidance, and stereotactic neuronavigation

Stereotactic Ventricular Catheter Placement

J Neurosurg 119:66–70, 2013

The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy of 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement during CSF shunt operations: the freehand technique using surface anatomy, ultrasonic guidance, and stereotactic neuronavigation.

Methods. This retrospective cohort study included all patients from a single institution who underwent a ventricular CSF shunting procedure in which a new ventricular catheter was placed between January 2005 and March 2010. Data abstracted for each patient included age, sex, diagnosis, method of ventricular catheter placement, site and side of ventricular catheter placement, Evans ratio, and bifrontal ventricular span. Postoperative radiographic studies were reviewed for accuracy of ventricular catheter placement. Medical records were also reviewed for evidence of shunt failure requiring revision through December 2011. Statistical analysis was then performed comparing the 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement and to determine risk factors for inaccurate placement.

Results. There were 249 patients included in the study; 170 ventricular catheters were freehand passed, 51 were placed using stereotactic neuronavigation, and 28 were placed under intraoperative ultrasonic guidance. There was a statistically significant difference between freehand catheters and stereotactic-guided catheters (p < 0.001), as well as between freehand catheters and ultrasound-guided catheters (p < 0.001). The only risk factor for inaccurate placement identified in this study was use of the freehand technique. The use of stereotactic neuronavigation and ultrasonic guidance reduced proximal shunt failure rates (p < 0.05) in comparison with a freehand technique.

Conclusions. Stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided ventricular catheter placements are significantly more accurate than freehand placement, and the use of these intraoperative guidance techniques reduced proximal shunt failure in this study.

Ultrasonographic quantification of spinal cord and dural pulsations during cervical laminoplasty in patients with compressive myelopathy

Eur Spine J (2012) 21:2450–2455

Pulsatile movements of the dura mater have been interpreted as a sign that the cord is free within the subarachnoid space, with no extrinsic compression. However, the association between restoration of pulsation and adequate decompression of the spinal cord has not been established. The present study investigated the relationship between the extent of spinal cord decompression and spinal cord and dural pulsations based on quantitative analysis of intraoperative ultrasonography (US).

Methods Eighty-five consecutive patients (55 males, 30 females; mean age, 64 ± 13 years) who underwent cervical double-door laminoplasty to relieve compressive myelopathy were enrolled. Spinal cord decompression status was classified as: Type 1 (non-contact), the subarachnoid space was retained on the ventral side of the cord, Type 2 (contact and apart), the cord showed both contact with and separation from the anterior element of the cervical spine, or Type 3 (contact), the cord showed continuous contact with the anterior element of the cervical spine. Spinal cord and dura mater dynamics were quantitatively analyzed using automatic video-tracking software. Furthermore, the intensity of spinal and dural pulsation was compared with the recovery of motor function at 1 year after surgery as measured by increase in the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Cervical Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ).

Results Spinal cord pulsation amplitude ranged from 0.01 to 0.84 mm (mean 0.30 ± 0.16 mm) and dural pulsation amplitude ranged from 0.01 to 0.38 mm (mean 0.14 ± 0.08 mm). Average spinal cord pulsation amplitude in Type 2 patients was significantly larger than that in the other groups, whereas, average dural pulsation amplitudes were similar for all three groups. There was a significant correlation between spinal cord and dural pulsation amplitudes in Type 1 patients, but not in Type 2 or Type 3 patients. Type 3 patients showed a particularly poor correlation between spinal cord and dural pulsations. Spinal cord pulsation amplitude was moderately correlated with the recovery of motor function evaluated by JOACMEQ.

Conclusion The present results suggest that restoration of dural pulsation is not an adequate indicator of sufficient decompression of the spinal cord following a surgical procedure.

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