Dorsum Sellae as Key Landmark in ETV With Disminished Prepontine Cistern

Operative Neurosurgery 26:188–195, 2024

One of the key aspects in the surgical technique of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the perforation of the floor of the third ventricle because of the high risk of injuring vital structures located in that region. According to the standard technique, this perforation should be performed in the midline halfway between mammillary bodies and the infundibular recess to avoid damage to the structures. This can be performed without excessive complications when the diameter of the prepontine cistern is wide. However, in situations where the diameter is reduced (defined in the literature as having a prepontine interval [PPI] ≤1 mm), the probability of complications increases exponentially. In this article, we propose using dorsum sellae as a key point to safely perform ETV in patients with a decreased PPI, guiding the trajectory and its marking using neuronavigation.

METHODS: A review was conducted on the latest 100 ETV procedures performed by our team in the past 5 years. The measurement of the PPI was conducted using archived preoperative MRI imaging studies, specifically between the dorsum sellae and the basilar artery. In cases where the PPI was ≤1 mm and, therefore, the use of the dorsum sellae was applied as a reference point, the technical results and procedural functions were documented.

RESULTS: In the cohort, 7 patients with a PPI ≤1 mm were identified. In all 7 cases, fenestration of the tuber cinereum was successfully performed without causing vascular damage or associated complications. ETV was successful in 6 patients, with only one experiencing ETV failure necessitating the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

CONCLUSION: The utilization of the dorsum sellae as a reference point to perform ETV in reduced PPI constitutes a safe alternative to the classical technique.

Neuroendoscopic transventricular transchoroidal approach for access to the posterior zone of the third ventricle or pineal region

Neurosurgical Review (2023) 46:323

The endoscopic transventricular transchoroidal approach facilitates entry into the posterior part of the third ventricle, allowing a visualization field from the foramen of Monro to the pineal region through this anatomical corridor. Combined surgery to treat the target lesion and possible endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) can be performed through a single burr hole.

A detailed description of this surgical technique is given, and a series of cases from our center is presented. This retrospective study included patients with lesions in the pineal region or posterior zone of the third ventricle who underwent surgery between 2004 and 2022 in our center for tumor biopsy or endoscopic cyst fenestration. In nine cases, the transchoroidal approach was performed. Demographic and clinical variables were collected: sex, age at diagnosis, clinical presentation, characteristics of the lesion, pathological diagnosis, characteristics of the procedure, complications, subsequent treatments, evolution, follow-up time, and degree of success of the endoscopic procedure. The mean and range of the quantitative variables and frequency of the qualitative variables were analyzed, together with the statistical significance (p < 0.05). Surgical planning was carried out by performing a preoperative MRI, calculating the ideal entry point and trajectory for each case. The preoperative planning of the surgical technique is described in detail.

Of our sample, 55.6% were women, with a mean age of 35 years (7–78). The most common clinical presentation was intracranial hypertension (55.6%), with or without a focus. Eight patients presented hydrocephalus at diagnosis. The most frequent procedure was endoscopic biopsy with ETV (66.7%). The pathological diagnosis varied widely. Procedure-related complications included one case of self-limited bleeding of the choroidal fissure at its opening and one intraventricular hemorrhage due to tumor bleeding in the postoperative period. Non-procedure-related complications comprised two ETV failures and one case of systemic infection, while late complications included one case of disease progression and one case of radionecrosis. Four patients died, one due to poor neurological evolution after post-surgical tumor bleeding and three due to causes unrelated to the procedure. The rest of the patients had a favorable evolution and were asymptomatic or stable.

The transchoroidal approach through a single burr hole is a feasible and safe option for access to the posterior part of the third ventricle. Proper planning of each case is necessary to avoid complications.

Neuronavigated foraminoplasty, shunt removal, and endoscopic third ventriculostomy in a 54‑year‑old patient with third shunt malfunction episode

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:3289–3296

The application of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) for the treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus in shunt malfunction represents a paradigm shift, as it allows hydrocephalus to be transformed from a chronic condition treated with an artificial device to a curable disease.

Methods We present a 54-year-old male with a diagnosis of idiopathic Sylvian aqueduct stenosis treated with shunt. The patient presented to our institution with symptoms of shunt malfunction and an increase in ventricular size on imaging, which was his third episode throughout his life. Through a right precoronal approach, with prior informed consent from the patient, we performed foraminoplasty, endoscopic third ventriculostomy, and finally removal of the shunt system.

Conclusion ETV shows promise as a viable treatment option for shunt malfunction in noncommunicating obstructive hydrocephalic patients. Its potential to avoid VPS-related complications, preserve physiological CSF circulation, and provide an alternative drainage pathway warrants further investigation.

First Experience With Postoperative Transcranial Ultrasound Through Sonolucent Burr Hole Covers in Adult Hydrocephalus Patients

Neurosurgery 92:382–390, 2023

Managing patients with hydrocephalus and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) disorders requires repeated head imaging. In adults, it is typically computed tomography (CT) or less commonly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, CT poses cumulative radiation risks and MRI is costly. Ultrasound is a radiation-free, relatively inexpensive, and optionally point-of-care alternative, but is prohibited by very limited windows through an intact skull.

OBJECTIVE: To describe our initial experience with transcutaneous transcranial ultrasound through sonolucent burr hole covers in postoperative hydrocephalus and CSF disorder patients.

METHODS: Using cohort study design, infection and revision rates were compared between patients who underwent sonolucent burr hole cover placement during new ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement and endoscopic third ventriculostomy over the 1-year study time period and controls from the period 1 year before. Postoperatively, trans-burr hole ultrasound was performed in the clinic, at bedside inpatient, and in the radiology suite to assess ventricular anatomy.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients with sonolucent burr hole cover were compared with 57 historical control patients. There was no statistically significant difference in infection rates between the sonolucent burr hole cover group (1/37, 2.7%) and the control group (0/57, P = .394). Revision rates were 13.5% vs 15.8% (P = 1.000), but no revisions were related to the burr hole or cranial hardware.

CONCLUSION: Trans-burr hole ultrasound is feasible for gross evaluation of ventricular caliber postoperatively in patients with sonolucent burr hole covers. There was no increase in infection rate or revision rate. This imaging technique may serve as an alternative to CT and MRI in the management of select patients with hydrocephalus and CSF disorders.

Anterior third ventricular height and infundibulochiasmatic angle: two novel measurements to predict clinical success of endoscopic third ventriculostomy in the early postoperative period

J Neurosurg 132:1764–1772, 2020

The authors sought to develop a set of parameters that reliably predict the clinical success of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) when assessed before and after the operation, and to establish a plan for MRI follow-up after this procedure.

METHODS This retrospective study involved 77 patients who had undergone 78 ETV procedures for obstructive hydrocephalus between 2010 and 2015. Constructive interference in steady-state (CISS) MRI evaluations before and after ETV were reviewed, and 4 parameters were measured. Two well-known standard parameters, fronto-occipital horn ratio (FOHR) and third ventricular index (TVI), and 2 newly defined parameters, infundibulochiasmatic (IC) angle and anterior third ventricular height (TVH), were measured in this study. Associations between preoperative measurements of and postoperative changes in the 4 variables and the clinical success of ETV were analyzed.

RESULTS Of the 78 ETV procedures, 70 (89.7%) were successful and 8 (10.3%) failed. On the preoperative MR images, the mean IC angle and anterior TVH were significantly larger in the successful procedures. On the 24-hour postoperative MR images of the successful procedures, the mean IC angle declined significantly from 114.2° to 94.6° (p < 0.05) and the mean anterior TVH declined significantly from 15 to 11.2 mm (p < 0.05). The mean percentage reduction of the IC angle was 17.1%, and that of the anterior TVH was 25.5% (both p < 0.05). On the 1-month MR images of the successful procedures, the mean IC angle declined significantly from 94.6° to 84.2° (p < 0.05) and the mean anterior TVH declined significantly from 11.2 to 9.3 mm (p < 0.05). The mean percentage reductions in IC angle (11%) and anterior TVH (16.9%) remained significant at this time point but were smaller than those observed at 24 hours. The 6-month and 1-year postoperative MR images of the successful group showed no significant changes in mean IC angle or mean anterior TVH. Regarding the unsuccessful procedures, there were no significant changes observed in IC angle or anterior TVH at any of the time points studied. Reduction of IC angle and reduction of anterior TVH on 24-hour postoperative MR images were significantly associated with successful ETV. However, no clinically significant association was found between FOHR, TVI, and ETV success.

CONCLUSIONS Assessing the IC angle and anterior TVH on preoperative and 24-hour postoperative MR images is useful for predicting the clinical success of ETV. These 2 measurements could also be valuable as radiological follow-up parameters.

Natural history of ventriculomegaly in adults: a cluster analysis

J Neurosurg 132:741–748, 2020

Chronic ventriculomegaly in the absence of raised intracranial pressure (ICP) is a known entity in adult hydrocephalus practice. The natural history and indication for treatment is, however, poorly defined. A highly heterogeneous group, some adults with ventriculomegaly are asymptomatic, while others have life-threatening deteriorations. The authors hypothesized that the various presentations can be subtyped and represent different stages of decompensation. A cluster analysis was performed on a cohort of patients with chronic ventriculomegaly with the aim of elucidating typical clinical characteristics and outcomes in chronic ventriculomegaly in adults.

METHODS Data were collected from 79 patients with chronic ventriculomegaly referred to a single center, including demographics, presenting symptoms, and 24-hour ICP monitoring (ICPM). A statistical cluster analysis was performed to determine the presence of subgroups.

RESULTS Four main subgroups and one highly dissimilar group were identified. Patients with ventriculomegaly commonly have a perinatal event followed by one of four main presentations: 1) incidental ventriculomegaly with or without headache; 2) highly symptomatic presentation (including reduced consciousness) and raised ICP; 3) early presenting with symptoms of headache and nausea (with abnormal pulsatility); and 4) late presenting with features common to normal pressure hydrocephalus. Each symptomatic group has characteristic radiological features, ICPM, and responses to treatment.

CONCLUSIONS Cluster analysis has identified subgroups of adult patients with ventriculomegaly. Such groups may represent various degrees of decompensation. Surgical interventions may not be equally effective across the subgroups, presenting an avenue for further research. The identified subtypes provide further insight into the natural history of this lesser studied form of hydrocephalus.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for treatment of adult hydrocephalus: long-term follow-up of 163 patients


Neurosurg Focus 41 (3):E3, 2016

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV in Calgary, Canada, over a span of 20 years (1994–2014). Patients were dichotomized into a primary or secondary ETV cohort based on whether ETV was the initial treatment modality for the hydrocephalus or if other CSF diversion procedures had been previously attempted respectively. Primary outcomes were subjective patient-reported clinical improvement within 12 weeks of surgery and the need for any CSF diversion procedures after the initial ETV during the span of the study. Categorical and actuarial data analysis was done to compare the outcomes of the primary versus secondary ETV cohorts.

Results A total of 163 adult patients with symptomatic hydrocephalus treated with ETV were identified and followed over an average of 98.6 months (range 0.1–230.4 months). All patients presented with signs of intracranial hypertension or other neurological symptoms. The primary ETV group consisted of 112 patients, and the secondary ETV consisted of 51 patients who presented with failed ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts. After the initial ETV procedure, clinical improvement was reported more frequently by patients in the primary cohort (87%) relative to those in the secondary ETV cohort (65%, p = 0.001). Additionally, patients in the primary ETV group required fewer reoperations (p < 0.001), with cumulative ETV survival time favoring this primary ETV cohort over the course of the follow-up period (p < 0.001). Fifteen patients required repeat ETV, with all but one experiencing successful relief of symptoms. Patients in the secondary ETV cohort also had a higher incidence of complications, with one occurring in 8 patients (16%) compared with 2 in the primary ETV group (2%; p = 0.010), although most complications were minor.

Conclusions ETV is an effective long-term treatment for selected adult patients with hydrocephalus. The overall ETV success rate when it was the primary treatment modality for adult hydrocephalus was approximately 87%, and 99% of patients experience symptomatic improvement after 2 ETVs. Patients in whom VP shunt surgery fails prior to an ETV have a 22% relative risk of ETV failure and an almost eightfold complication rate, although mostly minor, when compared with patients who undergo a primary ETV. Most ETV failures occur within the first 7 months of surgery in patients treated with primary ETV, but the time to failure is more prolonged in patients who present with failed previous shunts.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 78:109–119, 2016

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has been used predominantly in the pediatric population in the past. Application in the adult population has been less extensive, even in large neurosurgical centers. To our knowledge, this report is one of the largest adult ETV series reported and has the consistency of being performed at 1 center.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy, safety, and outcome of ETV in a large adult hydrocephalus patient series at a single neurosurgical center. In addition, to analyze patient selection criteria and clinical subgroups (including those with ventriculoperitoneal shunt [VPS] malfunction or obstruction and neurointensive care unit patients with extended ventricular drainage before ETV) to optimize surgical results in the future.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of adult ETV procedures performed at our center between 2000 and 2014.

RESULTS: The overall rate of success (no further cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure performed plus clinical improvement) of 243 completed ETVs was 72.8%. Following is the number of procedures with the success rate in parentheses: aqueduct stenosis, 56 (91%); communicating hydrocephalus including normal pressure hydrocephalus, nonnormal pressure hydrocephalus, and remote head trauma, 57 (43.8%); communicating hydrocephalus in postoperative posterior fossa tumor without residual tumor, 14 (85.7%); communicating hydrocephalus in subarachnoid hemorrhage without intraventricular hemorrhage, 23 (69.6%); obstruction from tumor/cyst, 42 (85.7%); VPS obstruction (diagnosis unknown), 23 (65.2%); intraventricular hemorrhage, 20 (90%); and miscellaneous (obstructive), 8 (50%). There were 9 complications in 250 intended procedures (3.6%); 5 (2%) were serious.

CONCLUSION: Use of ETV in adult hydrocephalus has broad application with a low complication rate and reasonably good efficacy in selected patients.

Avoidance and management of perioperative complications of endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Usefulness of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Ventriculography During Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

J Neurosurg 123:1414–1419, 2015

Although endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is a minimally invasive procedure, serious perioperative complications may occur due to the unique surgical maneuvers involved. In this paper the authors report the complications of elective and emergency ETV and their surgical management in 412 patients from July 2006 to October 2012 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (a government hospital) and other private hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The authors attempted some previously undescribed simple maneuvers that may help to overcome the difficulties of managing complications.

METHODS The complication rate was determined by recording intraoperative changes in pulse and blood pressure, bleeding episodes, serum electrolyte abnormalities, CSF leakage, and neurological deterioration in the immediate postoperative period.

RESULTS Intraoperative complications included hemodynamic alterations in the form of tachycardia, bradycardia, and hypertension. Bleeding was categorized as major in 2 cases and minor in 68 cases. Delayed recovery from anesthesia occurred in 14 cases, CSF leakage from the wound in 11 cases, and electrolyte imbalance in 5 cases. Postoperatively, 2 patients suffered convulsions and 1 had evidence of third cranial nerve injury. Three patients died as a result of complications.

CONCLUSIONS Complications during endoscopy can lead to serious consequences that may sometimes be very difficult to manage. The authors have identified and managed a large number of complications in this series, although the rate of complications is consistent with that in other reported series. These complications should be kept in mind perioperatively by both surgeons and anesthesiologists, as prompt detection and action can help minimize the risks associated with neuroendoscopic procedures.

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.

True aqueductal tumors: a unique entity

True aqueductal tumors-a unique entity

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:169–177

Pure aqueductal tumors (ATs) differ from pineal region and tectal/tegmental tumors in that they are epicentered within the aqueduct. Nevertheless, these tumors are rarely described as a separate type of tumor, and are often grouped with other lesions located in the same vicinity. The present multicenter study focuses on our experience treating patients with pure ATs.

Methods Data from three large tertiary centers was collected retrospectively, including presenting symptoms, treatment paradigm, surgical approaches, pathology, and outcome.

Results Between 1999 and 2013, 16 patients with AT were diagnosed and treated at the three tertiary centers. Ages at presentation ranged from 5.5 to 57 years. Thirteen patients presented with hydrocephalus-related symptoms, and two were identified incidentally. Thirteen patients underwent an endoscopic third ventriculostomy, and two of these underwent a simultaneous endoscopic biopsy (one grade II ependymoma, one non-specified low-grade glioma). Two others underwent shunt placement. Three patients underwent resection due to tumor progression. Pathologies included glioblastoma multiforme, glioneural tumor, and ependymoma grade II. All non-resected tumors remained stable or grew only minimally.

Conclusions ATs are a rare entities that usually present with obstructive hydrocephalus. Treatment includes primarily cerebrospinal fluid drainage (preferably via an endoscopic third ventriculostomy). Simultaneous endoscopic biopsy may be done in selected cases. Tumor resection should be reserved for growing tumors; the trans-fourth ventricular or transchoroidal approaches are probably safer than other approaches used to reach the tectal region.

A Novel Protocol of Continuous Navigation Guidance for Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

A Novel Protocol of Continuous Navigation Guidance for Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

Operative Neurosurgery 10:514–524, 2014

Although considered a standard neurosurgical procedure, endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is associated with a relatively high complication rate that is predominantly related to malpositioning of the trajectory.

OBJECTIVE: To develop an advanced navigation protocol for ETV, assess its possible benefits over commonly used ETV trajectories, and apply this protocol during surgery.

METHODS: After development of our advanced protocol, the imaging data of 59 patients who underwent ETV without navigation guidance was transferred to our navigation software. An individualized endoscope trajectory was created according to our protocol in all cases. This trajectory was compared with 2 standard trajectories, especially with regard to the distance to relevant neuronal structures: a trajectory manually measured on preoperative radiological images, as performed in all 59 cases, and a trajectory resulting from a commonly used fixed coronal burr hole. Subsequently, we applied the protocol in 15 ETVs to assess the feasibility and procedural complications.

RESULTS: Our individualized trajectory resulted in a significantly greater distance to the margins of the foramen of Monro, and the burr hole was located more posteriorly from the coronal suture in comparison with the standard trajectories. The advanced ETV technique was feasible in all 15 procedures, and no major complications occurred in any procedure. In 1 patient, a fornix contusion without clinical correlation was observed.

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that the proposed navigation protocol for ETV optimizes the distance of the endoscope to important neuronal structures. Continuous endoscope and puncture device guidance may further add to the safety of this procedure.

Endoscopic Transventricular Transaqueductal Magendie and Luschka Foraminoplasty for Hydrocephalus

Endoscopic foraminoplasty for Hydroc

Neurosurgery 74:426–436, 2014

Routinely, hydrocephalus related to fourth ventricular outlet obstruction (FVOO) has been managed with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). Few reports on Magendie foraminoplasty exist, and Luschka foraminoplasty has not been described.

OBJECTIVE: To present an alternative technique in the management of FVOO via an endoscopic transventricular transaqueductal Magendie and Luschka foraminoplasty and to discuss the indications, technique, findings, and outcomes.

METHODS: Between 1994 and 2011, all patients who underwent endoscopic Magendie and Luschka foraminoplasty were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 33 Magendie (28) and/or Luschka (5) foraminoplasties were performed in 30 patients. Twenty-three were adult and 7 were pediatric patients. The etiology of the FVOO was divided into primary etiologies (congenital membrane in 5 and atresia in 2) and secondary causes (neurocysticercosis in 14 patients, bacterial meningitis in 9). Fifteen (50%) had previously failed procedures. Intraoperative findings that led to Magendie/Luschka foraminoplasty were ETV not feasible to perform, nonpatent basal subarachnoid space, or primary FVOO. Minor postoperative complications were seen in 3 patients. Only 26 patients had long-term follow-up; 17 (65.3%) of these had clinical improvement and did not require further procedures. Nine (34.7%) did not improve. Eight required another procedure (7 shunts, and 1 endoscopic procedure). One patient died.

CONCLUSION: Flexible neuroendoscopic transventricular transforaminal Magendie and Luschka foraminoplasty is feasible and safe. These procedures may prove to be viable alternatives to standard ETV and VP shunt in appropriate patients. Adequate intraoperative assessment of ETV success is necessary to identify patients who will benefit.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy: can we predict success during surgery?


Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:89–97

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is widely used as an alternative technique for hydrocephalus treatment. ETV success or failure may be influenced by numerous factors. In this study, we have analyzed preoperative and intraoperative risk factors and suggest an intraoperative scale to predict etV failure.

Fifty-one patients (27 adults and 24 children) underwent an etV at Carlos Haya University Hospital, Malaga. Intraoperative video records were assessed and the following intraoperative findings were recorded: (1) abnormal ventricular anatomy, (2) intraoperative incident, (3) Liliequist membrane opening in a second endoscopic maneuver, (4) thickened or scarred membranes in the subarachnoid space, (5) absence or “weakness” of pulsation of third ventricle floor at etV completion, and (6) floppy premammillary membrane that needs edge coagulation. An intraoperative scale ranging from 0 to 6 points was performed.

A significant relation was found between a higher result on the prognosis scale and etV failure (p <0.0001). An absence or weakness of pulsation of the third ventricle floor at etV completion was significantly related to etV failure (p <0.0001).

The presence of thickened or scarred membranes in the subarachnoid space was significantly related to etV failure (p <0.04) as well as the Liliequist membrane opening in a second endoscopic maneuver (p <0.008). Intraoperative factors should be taken into account for prediction of etV success. More studies with larger case series are needed to determine the influence of all intraoperative factors over etV success

Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Ventriculography During Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

Usefulness of Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Ventriculography During Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy

Neurosurgery 73:730–738, 2013

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the preferred method for the treatment of noncommunicating hydrocephalus. The different success rates of ETV indicate the difficulties in predicting the success of this procedure.

OBJECTIVE: To show the usefulness of intraoperative ventriculography performed by the low-field 0.15-T magnetic resonance imager Polestar N20 during ETV.

METHODS: The study was conducted in 11 patients with noncommunicating hydrocephalus caused by tumors or cysts of the third ventricle (n = 5), nontumoral stenosis of the sylvian aqueduct (n = 3), and fourth ventricle outlet obstruction (n = 3). Intraoperative magnetic resonance (iMR) ventriculography was performed before and after the ETV.

RESULTS: In each case, iMR-ventriculography was a safe procedure and determined the exact site of obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow. In all cases, iMR-ventriculography performed after ETV showed with the greatest accuracy the patency of the performed fenestrations, demonstrating in 9 patients good flow of the contrast from the third ventricle to the basal cisterns, restricted flow in 1 patient, and no flow in 1 patient. The results of ventriculography were consistent with the postoperative neurological status of operated-on patients. In 3 patients, the opinion of the surgeons about the patency of endoscopic fenestration, based on intraoperative observation of the third ventricle floor, was inconsistent with the results from iMR-ventriculography.

CONCLUSION: Low-field iMR-ventriculography is a safe procedure that can be successfully applied during ETV to determine the site of obstruction in hydrocephalus and the patency of performed ventricle fenestration.

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


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.

Use of the NeuroBalloon catheter for endoscopic third ventriculostomy

endoscopic third ventriculostomy

J Neurosurg Pediatrics 11:302–306, 2013

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has become the procedure of choice for treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus.

While patient selection is the most critical factor in determining the success of an ETV procedure, the technical challenge lies in the proper site of fenestration and the successful creation of a patent stoma.

Positioning of a single balloon catheter at the level or below the floor of the third ventricle to achieve an optimal ventriculostomy can at times be challenging.

Here, the authors describe the use of a double-barrel balloon catheter (NeuroBalloon catheter), which facilitates positioning across, as well as dilation of, the floor of the third ventricle.

The surgical technique and nuances of using the NeuroBalloon catheter and the experience in more than 1000 cases are described. The occurrence of vascular injury was less than 0.1%, and the risk of balloon rupture was less than 2%.

The authors found that the placement and deployment of this balloon catheter facilitate the creation of an adequate ventriculostomy in a few simple steps.

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.

Why does endoscopic aqueductoplasty fail so frequently?

J Neurosurg 117:141–149, 2012

The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare CSF flow after endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and endoscopic aqueductoplasty (EAP) in patients presenting with obstructive hydrocephalus caused by aqueductal stenosis.

Methods. In patients harboring aqueductal stenosis who underwent EAP (n = 8), ETV (n = 8), and both ETV and EAP (n = 6), CSF flow through the restored aqueduct and through the ventriculostomy was investigated using cine cardiac-gated phase-contrast MRI. For qualitative evaluation of CSF flow, an in-plane phase-contrast sequence in the midsagittal plane was used. The MR images were displayed in a closed-loop cine format. Quantitative through-plane measurements were performed in the axial plane perpendicular to the aqueduct and/or floor of the third ventricle.

Results. Evaluation revealed significantly higher CSF flow through the ventriculostomies compared with flow through the aqueducts. This was true both when comparing the ETV group with the EAP group and when comparing the flow of the ventriculostomy and aqueduct within the ETV and EAP group. There was no difference in aqueductal CSF flow between patients who underwent EAP alone and patients who underwent ETV and EAP. There was also no difference in ventriculostomy CSF flow between patients who underwent ETV alone and patients who underwent ETV and EAP. Fifty percent of the restored aqueducts became occluded at a mean of 46 months after surgery (range 18–126 months). In contrast, all ETVs remained patent in the mean follow-up period of 110 months after surgery, although 1 patient required shunt placement after 66 months.

Conclusions. Cerebrospinal fluid flow through ventriculostomies is significantly higher than aqueductal CSF flow after EAP. This could be one factor to explain why the reclosure rate of aqueducts after EAP is higher than the reclosure rate of the ventriculostoma after ETV.


Hyponatremia following endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Neurosurg Pediatrics 10:39–43, 2012.

Electrolyte and endocrinological complications of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) are infrequent but serious events, likely due to transient hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. While the incidence of diabetes insipidus is relatively well known, hyponatremia is not often reported. The authors report on a series of 5 patients with post-ETV hyponatremia.

Methods. The records of patients undergoing ETV between 2008 and 2010 were reviewed. All ETVs were performed with a rigid neuroendoscope via a frontal bur hole, standard third ventricle floor blunt perforation, Fogarty catheter dilation, and intermittent normal saline irrigation. Postoperative MR images were evaluated for endoscope tract injury as well as the trajectory from the bur hole center to the fenestration site.

Results. Thirty-two patients (20 male and 12 female) underwent ETV. Their median age was 6 years (range 3 weeks–28 years). Hydrocephalus was most commonly due to nontumoral aqueductal stenosis (43%), nontectal tumor (25%), or tectal glioma (13%). Five patients (16%) had multicystic/loculated hydrocephalus. Five patients (16%) developed hyponatremia between 1 and 8 days following ETV, including 2 patients with seizures (1 of whom was still hospitalized at the time of the seizure and 1 of whom was readmitted as a result of the seizure) and 3 patients who were readmitted because of decline in their condition following routine discharge. No hypothalamic injuries were noted on imaging. Univariate risk factors consisted of age of 2 years or less (p = 0.02), presence of cystic lesions (p = 0.02), and ETV trajectory angle 10° or more from perpendicular (p = 0.001).

Conclusions. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is a well-tolerated procedure but can result in serious complications. Hyponatremia is rare and may be more likely in younger patients or those with cystic loculations. Patients with altered craniometry may be at particular risk with a rigid endoscopic approach requiring greater manipulation of subforniceal or hypothalamic structures.