Radionuclide shuntography for cerebrospinal fluid shunt flow evaluation in adults

J Neurosurg 140:621–626, 2024

Radionuclide shuntography (RS) performed using 99m Tc-DTPA injected into the reservoir of CSF shunts enables evaluation of CSF flow for suspected shunt malfunctions. The goal of this study was to report the authors’ institutional experience with RS and evaluate its utility and associated complications.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed all RS studies performed between November 2003 and June 2022. Patients with shunted hydrocephalus who were ≥ 18 years of age were included. Patients undergoing RS for evaluation of Ommaya reservoirs were excluded. Demographics, hydrocephalus etiology, presenting symptoms, study results, subsequent management, complications, and intraoperative diagnoses were recorded. Chi-square tests were reported for categorical variables and standard 2 × 2 contingency methods were used for sensitivity/specificity analysis.

RESULTS The authors identified 211 RS procedures performed in 142 patients. The mean age at procedure was 55.6 ± 20.9 years (mean ± SD). Normal pressure hydrocephalus was the most common hydrocephalus etiology (37.0%), followed by congenital malformations (26.1%) and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (15.6%). Successful radionuclide injection was achieved in 207 studies (98.1%). Shunt patency was confirmed in 63.8% of successful injections, whereas malfunction was demonstrated in 27.1% and abnormally slow flow was seen in 9.2%. RS studies demonstrating shunt malfunction were more likely to result in subsequent revisions than were studies showing patency (86.6% vs 2.9%; p < 0.0001). The overall sensitivity and specificity of RS for detecting shunt malfunction was 92.3% and 96.2%, respectively. The median follow-up time was 29 months, with 151 cases having ≥ 6 months of follow-up. There were no complications or infections attributable to RS in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS RS is a useful and safe tool in the workup of shunt malfunction.


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.

Navigated bedside implantation of external ventricular drains with mobile health guidance

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:76

External ventricular drain (EVD) implantation is one of the fundamental procedures of emergency neurosurgery usually performed freehand at bedside or in the operating room using anatomical landmarks. However, this technique is frequently associated with malpositioning leading to complications or dysfunction. Here, we describe a novel navigated bedside EVD insertion technique, which is evaluated in a clinical case series with the aim of safety, accuracy, and efficiency in neurosurgical emergency settings.

Methods From 2021 to 2022, a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument (Thomale Guide, Christoph Miethke, Potsdam, Germany) was used alongside a battery-powered single-use drill (Phasor Health, Houston, USA) for bedside EVD placement in representative neurosurgical pathologies in emergency situations requiring ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) relief and intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring.

Results In all 12 patients (8 female and 4 male), navigated bedside EVDs were placed around the foramen of Monro at the first ventriculostomy attempt. The most frequent indication was aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Mean operating time was 25.8 ± 15.0 min. None of the EVDs had to be revised due to malpositioning or dysfunction. Two EVDs were converted into a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Drainage volume was 41.3 ± 37.1 ml per day in mean. Mean length of stay of an EVD was 6.25 ± 2.8 days. Complications included one postoperative subdural hematoma and cerebrospinal fluid infection, respectively.

Conclusion Combining a mobile health–assisted navigation instrument with a battery-powered drill and an appropriate ventricular catheter may enable and enhance safety, accuracy, and efficiency in bedside EVD implantation in various pathologies of emergency neurosurgery without adding relevant efforts.

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.

Ventriculosinus shunt: a pilot study to investigate new technology to treat hydrocephalus and mimic physiological principles of cerebrospinal fluid drainage

J Neurosurg 139:1412–1419, 2023

Devices draining CSF to the intracranial venous sinus for the treatment of hydrocephalus have been tested in the past, and while clinically effective, have not shown efficacy in the long term. The majority of these devices become obstructed within 3 months due to endothelial overgrowth. In this study, the authors investigated a newly developed ventriculosinus (VS) shunt outlet device with the objective of showing it would remain patent for at least 6 months.

METHODS Twelve patients in need of shunting for hydrocephalus underwent an operation using the investigational device and were followed for 6 months to record patency of the shunt.

RESULTS In 10 patients, the shunt was patent at 6 months, with the outlet device remaining unobstructed. In the remaining 2 patients, one died just before reaching the 6-month endpoint, and in the other the outlet was misplaced during surgery and therefore ceased to function after 3 months. No occlusion of the internal jugular vein or thrombus formation was noted in any of the 12 cases.

CONCLUSIONS These findings indicate that the outlet device can remain patent and has the capability to mimic physiological drainage by diverting CSF to the intracranial sinus. Additional confirmation of its potential as part of a new VS shunt system and ultimately as a viable alternative for ventriculoperitoneal and ventriculoatrial shunting to reduce complication rates requires further clinical trials.

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.

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.

Robot‑assisted endoscopic third ventriculostomy under intraoperative CT imaging guidance

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:2525–2531

The robot-assisted neurosurgical procedures have recently benefited of the evolution of intraoperative imaging, including mobile CT unit available in the operating room. This facilitated use paved the way to perform more neurosurgical procedures under robotic assistance. Endoscopic third ventriculocisternostomy requires both a safe transcortical trajectory and a smooth manipulation.

Method We describe our technique of robot-assisted endoscopic third ventriculocisternostomy combining robotic assistance and intraoperative CT imaging.

Conclusion Robot-assisted endoscopic third ventriculocisternostomy using modern intraoperative neuroimaging can be easily implemented and prevented erroneous trajectory and abrupt endoscopic movements, reducing surgically induced brain damages.

Initial Clinical Experience and Biomechanical Analysis of a Novel Gravity Unit–Assisted Valve ( in Pediatric Patients With Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 93:555–562, 2023

Overdrainage is a widely reported complication representing common indication for shunt revision. Despite recent advances in valve design, repeated shunt revisions represent burden on healthcare systems.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficiency of a novel gravity unit–assisted programmable valve “” in pediatric hydrocephalus using clinical and biomechanical analyses.

METHODS: This retrospective single-center study included pediatric patients who received valve between April 2019 and 2021. Several clinical and biomechanical parameters were documented including complications and revision rates. Flow rate, functional assessment in vertical and horizontal positions, and extent of depositions inside valve were analyzed in explanted valves.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven valves in 34 pediatric patients with hydrocephalus (mean age 2.82 ± 3.91 years) were included. Twelve valves (32.4%) were explanted during a follow-up period of 27.3 ± 7.9 months. One-year survival rate of 89% and overall survival rate of 67.6% with a valve survival average of 23.8 ± 9.7 months were observed. Patients with explanted valves (n = 12) were significantly younger, with 0.91 ± 0.54 years of age in average (P= .004), and showed significantly more adjustments difficulties (P= .009). 58.3% of explanted valves showed deposits in more than 75% of the valve surface despite normal cerebrospinal fluid findings and were associated with dysfunctional flow rate in vertical, horizontal, or both positions.

CONCLUSION: The novel valve with integrated gravity unit is efficient in pediatric hydrocephalus with comparable survival rate. Deposits inside valves could affect its flow rate in different body positions and might lead to dysfunction or difficulties in valve adjustments.

Cerebral Microbleeds—Long-Term Outcome After Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunting in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Neurosurgery 93:300–308, 2023

Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are common in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH) and have been suggested as radiological markers of a brain prone to bleeding. The presence of CMBs might be relevant when selecting patients for shunt surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether CMBs increases long-term risk of hemorrhagic complications and mortality or affects outcomes after cerebrospinal fluid shunt surgery in a cohort of patients with INPH.

METHODS: One hundred and forty nine shunted patients with INPH (mean age, 73 years) were investigated with MRI (T2* or susceptibility-weighted imaging sequences) preoperatively. CMBs were scored with the Microbleed Anatomic Rating Scale. Patients were observed for a mean of 6.5 years (range 2 weeks to 13 years) after surgery. Hemorrhagic events and death were noted. Improvement in gait was evaluated 3 to 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS: At baseline, 74 patients (50%) had CMBs. During follow-up, 7 patients (5%) suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and 43 (29%) suffered a subdural hematoma/hygroma with a median time from surgery of 30.2 months (IQR 50). Overall, having CMBs was not associated with suffering a subdural hematoma/hygroma or hemorrhagic stroke during follow-up with 1 exception that an extensive degree of CMBs (≥50 CMB) was more common in patients suffering a hemorrhagic stroke (P = .03). CMBs were associated with increased mortality (P = .02, Kaplan-Meier, log-rank test). The presence of CMBs did not affect gait outcome (P = .28).

CONCLUSION: CMBs were associated with hemorrhagic stroke and mortality. CMBs do not seem to reduce the possibility of gait improvement after shunt surgery or contribute to the risk of hemorrhagic complications regarding subdural hematoma or hygroma.

Neuronavigated endoscopic aqueductoplasty with panventricular stent plus septostomy for isolated fourth ventricle in complex hydrocephalus and syringomyelia associated with myelomeningocele

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:2333–2338

Isolated fourth ventricle (IFV) is a challenging entity to manage. In recent years, endoscopic treatment for aqueductoplasty has been on the rise. However, in patients with complex hydrocephalus and distorted ventricular system, its implementation can be complex.

Methods We present a 3-year-old patient with myelomeningocele and postnatal hydrocephalus treated by ventriculoperitoneal shunt. In follow-up, a progressive IFV and isolated lateral ventricle with symptoms of the posterior fossa developed. An endoscopic aqueductoplasty (EA) with panventricular stent plus septostomy guided with neuronavigation was decided due to the complexity of the ventricular system.

Conclusion In IFV associated with complex hydrocephalus with distortion of the ventricular system, navigation can be of great help for planning and as a guide for performing EA

Endoscopic Placement of Intracystic Catheters

Operative Neurosurgery 25:E1–E5, 2023

Intraventricular neuroendoscopic surgery for tumor resection, biopsy, or cyst fenestration frequently requires precise placement of an intraventricular or intracystic catheter. Placement under direct visualization is not feasible because of small bore of working channel of the standard small ventriculoscope. Various techniques have been reported using a separate transcortical trajectory, endoluminal endoscope, or endovascular guide wire.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a technique allowing precise placement of intraventricular/intracystic catheter using a small bore working ventriculoscope, without need for additional equipment.

METHODS: Description of the technique including intraoperative photographs, video, and illustrative cases are provided.

RESULTS: The peel-away sheath is peeled off approximately 1 to 2 cm to allow for the shaft of the endoscope to pass past its tip. Ventricular access is gained using the peel-away sheath. After the stylet is removed, the peel-away sheath is not peeled further or stapled to the skin. The endoscope is introduced into the ventricle through the peel-away sheath. After the required intraventricular work is performed, the endoscope is maneuvered into the location of the desired catheter position. The peel-away sheath is slowly advanced over the stationary endoscope past its tip. While the peelaway sheath is being held in place, the endoscope is removed. After the catheter has been introduced into the peel-away sheath to a premeasured depth, the peel-away sheath is peeled and removed. The catheter is then connected to collection system, reservoir or shunt system.

CONCLUSION: The current technique allows for the precise placement of intraventricular/intracystic catheters without the need for additional equipment or a separate transcortical trajectory.


Cisternal Score: A Radiographic Score to Predict Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Requirement in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Neurosurgery 93:75–83, 2023

Persistent hydrocephalus requiring a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) can complicate the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Identification of high-risk patients may guide external ventricular drain management.

OBJECTIVE: To identify early radiographic predictors for persistent hydrocephalus requiring VPS placement. METHODS: In a 2-center retrospective study, we compared radiographic features on admission noncontrast head computed tomography scans of patients with aSAH requiring a VPS to those who did not, at 2 referral academic centers from 2016 through 2021. We quantified blood clot thickness in the basal cisterns including interpeduncular, ambient, crural, prepontine, interhemispheric cisterns, and bilateral Sylvian fissures. We then created the cisternal score (CISCO) using features that were significantly different between groups.

RESULTS: We included 229 survivors (mean age 55.6 years [SD 13.1]; 63% female) of whom 50 (22%) required VPS. CISCO was greater in patients who required a VPS than those who did not (median 4, IQR 3-6 vs 2, IQR 1-4; P < .001). Higher CISCO was associated with higher odds of developing persistent hydrocephalus with VPS requirement (odds ratio 1.6 per point increase, 95% CI 1.34-1.9; P < .001), independent of age, Hunt and Hess grades, and modified GRAEB scores. CISCO had higher accuracy in predicting VPS requirement (area under the curve 0.75, 95% CI 0.68-0.82) compared with other predictors present on admission.

CONCLUSION: Cisternal blood clot quantification on admission noncontrast head computed tomography scan is feasible and can be used in predicting persistent hydrocephalus with VPS requirement in patients with aSAH. Future prospective studies are recommended to further validate this tool.

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

Placebo-Controlled Effectiveness of Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Shunting

Neurosurgery 92:481–489, 2023

Multiple prospective nonrandomized studies have shown 60% to 70% of patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) improve with shunt surgery, but multicenter placebo-controlled trial data are necessary to determine its effectiveness.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of cerebrospinal fluid shunting in iNPH through comparison of open vs placebo shunting groups at 4 months using a pilot study.

METHODS: Patients were randomized to a Codman Certas Plus valve (Integra LifeSciences) set at 4 (open shunt group) or 8 (“virtual off”; placebo group). Patients and assessors were blinded to treatment group. The primary outcome measure was 10-m gait velocity. Secondary outcome measures included functional scales for bladder control, activities of daily living, depression, and quality of life. Immediately after 4-month evaluation, all shunts were adjusted in a blinded fashion to an active setting and followed to 12months after shunting.

RESULTS: A total of 18 patients were randomized. At the 4-month evaluation, gait velocity increased by 0.28 ± 0.28m/s in the open shunt group vs 0.04 ± 0.17m/s in the placebo group. The estimated treatment difference was 0.22 m/s ([P = .071], 95% CI 0.02 to 0.46). Overactive Bladder Short Form symptom bother questionnaire significantly improved in open shunt vs placebo (P = .007). The 4-month treatment delay did not reduce the subsequent response to active shunting, nor did it increase the adverse advents rate at 12 months.

CONCLUSION: This multicenter, randomized pilot study demonstrates the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of a placebo-controlled trial in iNPH, and found a trend suggesting gait velocity improves more in the open shunt group than in the placebo group.

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.

Extra-axial endoscopic third ventriculostomy: preliminary experience with a technique to circumvent conventional endoscopic third ventriculostomy complications

J Neurosurg 138:503–513, 2023

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is mostly safe but may have serious complications. Most of the complications are inherent to the procedure’s intra-axial nature. This study aimed to explore an alternative route to overcome inherent issues with conventional ETV. The authors performed supraorbital, subfrontal extra-axial ETV (EAETV) via the lamina terminalis.

METHODS This prospective study began in October 2021 and included patients with obstructive triventricular hydrocephalus with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 or more and a minimum follow-up of 3 months. Patients with multiloculated hydrocephalus and those younger than 1 year of age were excluded. The preoperative parameters etiology, symptoms, Evans’ Index, frontal occipital horn ratio (FOHR), and third ventricle index were recorded. The surgical procedure is described. Postoperative evaluation included clinical (modified Rankin Scale [mRS]) and radiological assessment with CT and cine phase-contrast MRI. Preoperative and postoperative parameters were compared statistically.

RESULTS Ten patients were included in this study. Six patients had acute hydrocephalus, and 4 had chronic hydrocephalus. After EAETV, all patients showed clinical improvement. An mRS score of 0 or 1 was achieved in 9 patients, but the mRS score remained at 4 in a patient with tectal tuberculoma. There was a significant reduction in Evans’ Index, FOHR, and third ventricle index after EAETV (p < 0.05). The mean percent reduction in Evans’ Index was 20.80% ± 13.89%, the mean percent reduction in FOHR was 20.79% ± 12.98%, and the mean percent reduction in the third ventricle index was 37.45% ± 14.74%. CSF flow voids were seen in all cases. The results of CSF flow quantification parameters were as follows: mean peak velocity 3.82 ± 0.93 cm/sec, mean average velocity 0.10 ± 0.05 cm/sec, mean average flow rate 46.60 ± 28.58 μL/sec, mean forward volume 39.90 ± 23.29 μL, mean reverse volume 34.10 ± 15.98 μL, mean overall flow amplitude 74.00 ± 27.61 μL, and mean stroke volume 37.00 ± 13.80 μL. One patient developed a minor frontal lobe contusion. The frontal air sinus was breached in 5 patients, but none had CSF rhinorrhea. Transient supraorbital hypesthesia was seen in 3 patients. No patient had electrolyte disturbance or change in thirst or fluid intake habits.

CONCLUSIONS EAETV is a feasible, safe, and effective surgical alternative to conventional ETV.

Vascular risk profiles for predicting outcome and long-term mortality in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: comparison of clinical decision support tools

J Neurosurg 138:476–482, 2023

Vascular risk factors (VRFs) may act synergistically, and clinical decision support tools (CDSTs) have been developed that present vascular risk as a summarized score. Because VRFs are a major issue in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH), a CDST may be useful in the diagnostic workup. The objective was to compare 4 CDSTs to determine which one most accurately predicts short-term outcome and 10-year mortality after CSF shunt surgery in INPH patients.

METHODS One-hundred forty INPH patients who underwent CSF shunt surgery were included. For each patient, 4 CDST scores (Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation–Older Persons [SCORE-OP], Framingham Risk Score [FRS], Revised Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, and Kiefer’s Comorbidity Index [KCI]) were estimated. Short-term outcome (3 months after CSF shunt surgery) was defined on the basis of improvements in gait, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and modified Rankin Scale score. The 10-year mortality rate after surgery was noted. The CDSTs were compared by using Cox regression analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, and the chi-square test.

RESULTS For 3 CDSTs, increased score was associated with increased risk of 10-year mortality. A 1-point increase in the FRS indicated a 2% higher risk of death within 10 years (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.003–1.035, p = 0.021); SCORE-OP, 5% (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.019–1.087, p = 0.002); and KCI, 12% (HR 1.12, 95% CI 1.03–1.219, p = 0.008). FRS predicted short-term outcome of surgery (p = 0.024). When the cutoff value was set to 32.5%, the positive predictive value was 80% and the negative predictive value was 48% (p = 0.012).

CONCLUSIONS The authors recommend using FRS to predict short-term outcome and 10-year risk of mortality in INPH patients. The study indicated that extensive treatment of the risk factors of INPH may decrease risk of mortality.

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.

Surgical management of colloid cysts of the third ventricle: a single-institution comparison of endoscopic and microsurgical resection

J Neurosurg 137:905–913, 2022

Colloid cysts of the third ventricle are histologically benign lesions that can cause obstructive hydrocephalus and death. Historically, colloid cysts have been removed by open microsurgical approaches. More recently, minimally invasive endoscopic and port-based techniques have offered decreased complications and length of stay, with improved patient satisfaction.

METHODS A single-center retrospective analysis of patients with colloid cysts who underwent surgery at a large tertiary care hospital was performed. The cohort was assessed based on the surgical approach, comparing endoscopic resection to open microsurgical resection. The primary endpoint was rate of perioperative complications. Univariate analysis was used to assess several procedure-related variables and the cost of treatment. Multivariate analysis was used to assess predictors of perioperative complications. Total inpatient cost for each case was extracted from the health system financial database.

RESULTS The study included 78 patients with colloid cysts who underwent resection either via an endoscopic approach (n = 33) or through a craniotomy (n = 45) with an interhemispheric-transcallosal or transcortical-transventricular approach. Nearly all patients were symptomatic, and half had obstructive hydrocephalus. Endoscopic resection was associated with reduced operative time (3.2 vs 4.9 hours, p < 0.001); lower complication rate (6.1% vs 33.1%, p = 0.009); reduced length of stay (4.1 vs 8.9 days, p < 0.001); and improved discharge to home (100% vs 75.6%, p = 0.008) compared to microsurgical resection. Coagulated residual cyst wall remnants were more common after endoscopic resection (63.6% vs 19.0%, p < 0.001) although this was not associated with a significantly increased rate of reoperation for recurrence. The mean follow-up was longer in the microsurgical resection group (3.1 vs 4.9 years, p = 0.016). The total inpatient cost of endoscopic resection was, on average, one-half (47%) that of microsurgical resection. When complications were encountered, the total inpatient cost of microsurgical resection was 4 times greater than that of endoscopic resection where no major complications were observed. The increased cost-effectiveness of endoscopic resection remained during reoperation.

CONCLUSIONS Endoscopic resection of colloid cysts of the third ventricle offers a significant reduction in perioperative complications when compared to microsurgical resection. Endoscopic resection optimizes nearly all procedure-related variables compared to microsurgical resection, and reduces total inpatient cost by > 50%. However, endoscopic resection is associated with a significantly increased likelihood of residual coagulated cyst wall remnants that could increase the rate of reoperation for recurrence. Taken together, endoscopic resection represents a safe and effective minimally invasive approach for removal of colloid cysts.