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.

Management of severe intraoperative hemorrhage during intraventricular neuroendoscopic procedures: the dry field technique

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2551–2557

Neuroendoscopic procedures inside the ventricular system always bear the risk for an unexpected intraoperative hemorrhage with potentially devastating consequences. The authors present here their experience, and a stage-to-stage guide for the endoscopic management of intraoperative hemorrhages.

Methods A step-by-step guide for the management to gain control of and stop the bleeding is described including a grading system. More advanced techniques are presented in cases examples.

Conclusion Most of intraoperative hemorrhages can be controlled by constant irrigation and coagulation. More advanced techniques can be applied quickly and easily to ensure control of the hemorrhages and avoid the need for a microsurgical conversion.

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.

Endoscope‐assisted resection of brainstem cavernous malformations

Neurosurgical Review (2022) 45:2823–2836

Targeted surgical precision and minimally invasive techniques are of utmost importance for resectioning cavernous malformations involving the brainstem region. Minimisation of the surgical corridor is desirable but should not compromise the extent of resection.

This study provides detailed information on the role of endoscopy in this challenging surgical task. A retrospective analysis of medical documentation, radiologic studies and detailed intraoperative video documentation was performed for all consecutive patients who underwent surgical resection of brainstem cavernous malformations between 2010 and 2020 at the authors’ institution.

A case-based volumetry of the corticotomy was performed and compared to cavernoma dimensions. A total of 20 procedures have been performed in 19 patients. Neuroendoscopy was implemented in all cases. The mean size of the lesion was 5.4 (± 5) mm3. The average size of the brainstem corticotomy was 4.5 × 3.7 (± 1.0 × 1.1) mm, with a median relation to the cavernoma’s dimension of 9.99% (1.2–31.39%). Endoscopic 360° inspection of the resection cavity was feasible in all cases. There were no endoscopy-related complications. Mean follow-up was 27.8 (12–89) months.

Gross-total resection was achieved in all but one case (95%). Sixteen procedures (80%) resulted in an improved or stable medical condition. Eleven patients (61.1%) showed further improvement 12 months after the initial surgery. With the experience provided, endoscopic techniques can be safely implemented in surgery for BSCM. A combination of neuroendoscopic visualisation and neuronavigation might enable a targeted size of brainstem corticotomy.

Endoscopy can currently be considered a valuable additive tool to facilitate the preparation and resection of BSCM.

Endoscope- versus microscope-integrated near-infrared indocyanine green videoangiography in aneurysm surgery

J Neurosurg 131:1413–1422, 2019

The quality of surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms is determined by complete aneurysm occlusion while preserving blood flow in the parent, branching, and perforating arteries. For a few years, there has been a nearly noninvasive and cost-effective technique for intraoperative flow evaluation: microscope-integrated indocyanine green videoangiography (mICG-VA). This method allows for real-time information about blood flow in the aneurysm and the involved vessels, but its limitations are seen in the evaluation of structures located in the depth of the surgical field, especially through small craniotomies. To compensate for these drawbacks, an endoscope-integrated ICG-VA (eICG-VA) was developed. The objective of the present study was to assess the use of eICG-VA in comparison with mICG-VA for intraoperative blood flow evaluation.

METHODS In the period between January 2011 and January 2015, 216 patients with a total of 248 intracranial saccular aneurysms were surgically treated in the Department of Neurosurgery of Saarland University Medical Center in Homburg/Saar, Germany. During 95 surgeries in 88 patients with a total of 108 aneurysms, intraoperative evaluation was performed with both eICG-VA and mICG-VA. After clipping, evaluation of complete aneurysm occlusion and flow in the parent, branching, and perforating arteries was performed using both methods. Intraoperative applicability of each technique was compared with the other and with postoperative digital subtraction angiography as a standard evaluation technique.

RESULTS Evaluation of completeness of aneurysm occlusion and of flow in the parent, branching, and perforating arteries was more successful with eICG-VA than with mICG-VA, especially for aneurysm neck assessment (88.9% vs 69.4%). For 63.9% of the aneurysms (n = 69), both methods were equivalent, but in 30.6% of the cases (n = 33), the eICG-VA provided better results for evaluating the post-clipping situation. In 4.6% of these aneurysms (n = 5), the information given by the additional endoscope considerably changed the surgical procedure. Thus, one residual aneurysm (0.9%), two neck remnants (1.9%), and two branch occlusions (1.9%) could be prevented. Nevertheless, two incomplete aneurysm occlusions (1.9%) and six neck remnants (5.6%) were revealed by postoperative digital subtraction angiography.

CONCLUSIONS Endoscope-integrated ICG-VA seems to be an improvement that might increase the quality of aneurysm surgery by providing additional information. It offers higher illumination, magnification, and an extended viewing angle. Its main advantage is its ability to assess deep-seated aneurysms, especially through small craniotomies, but further studies are required.

Smartphone-assisted minimally invasive neurosurgery


J Neurosurg 130:90–98, 2019

Advances in video and fiber optics since the 1990s have led to the development of several commercially available high-definition neuroendoscopes. This technological improvement, however, has been surpassed by the smartphone revolution. With the increasing integration of smartphone technology into medical care, the introduction of these high-quality computerized communication devices with built-in digital cameras offers new possibilities in neuroendoscopy. The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of smartphone-endoscope integration in performing different types of minimally invasive neurosurgery.

METHODS The authors present a new surgical tool that integrates a smartphone with an endoscope by use of a specially designed adapter, thus eliminating the need for the video system customarily used for endoscopy. The authors used this novel combined system to perform minimally invasive surgery on patients with various neuropathological disorders, including cavernomas, cerebral aneurysms, hydrocephalus, subdural hematomas, contusional hematomas, and spontaneous intracerebral hematomas.

RESULTS The new endoscopic system featuring smartphone-endoscope integration was used by the authors in the minimally invasive surgical treatment of 42 patients. All procedures were successfully performed, and no complications related to the use of the new method were observed. The quality of the images obtained with the smartphone was high enough to provide adequate information to the neurosurgeons, as smartphone cameras can record images in high definition or 4K resolution. Moreover, because the smartphone screen moves along with the endoscope, surgical mobility was enhanced with the use of this method, facilitating more intuitive use. In fact, this increased mobility was identified as the greatest benefit of the use of the smartphone-endoscope system compared with the use of the neuroendoscope with the standard video set.

CONCLUSIONS Minimally invasive approaches are the new frontier in neurosurgery, and technological innovation and integration are crucial to ongoing progress in the application of these techniques. The use of smartphones with endoscopes is a safe and efficient new method of performing endoscope-assisted neurosurgery that may increase surgeon mobility and reduce equipment costs.  

Fluorescein-Guided Neuroendoscopy for Intraventricular Lesions

Operative Neurosurgery 13:173–181, 2017

The benefits of neuroendoscopy in the pathological diagnosis of intraand paraventricular tumors have already been shown in many neurosurgical studies. However, most authors agree that neuroendoscopic biopsies are not infrequently inconclusive due to small or inadequate samples, prompting the need for new diagnostic strategies.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a technique not previously reported in the literature, combining neuroendoscopy with angiofluorescein guidance for the pathological diagnosis of intraand paraventricular tumors.

METHODS: The 4-mm steerable fiberscope used was equipped with dual observation modes for white light and fluorescein. Access was by the classical precoronal burr hole. After inspecting the ventricular system in white light, a 10-mg/kg dose of fluorescein sodium (FS) was administered intravenously to the patient. The endoscope was then switched to the blue light fluorescent mode to better localize the pathological tissue. The protocol had been submitted to the local ethics committee.

RESULTS: From September 2011 to March 2015, 9 consecutive patients (aged 1-56 yr) harboring intra- and paraventricular lesions prospectively underwent angiofluoresceinguided endoscopy. In all cases, a pathological diagnosis was obtained without complications. In 5 patients, an endoscopic third ventriculostomy, and, in 1 patient, a septostomy was performed during the same procedure. Fluorescein guidance definitely modified our site of biopsy in 4 cases.

CONCLUSION: In our experience, FS has proven to be a strong enhancer of all ventricular lesions presentingwith a disrupted blood–brain barrier, including inflammatory processes. Fluorescein-guided neuroendoscopy appears to be a safe, economic method to improve diagnostic potential in ventricular lesions.

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.

Neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting in adults


J Neurosurg 125:576–584, 2016

Since its revival in the early 1990s, neuroendoscopy has become an integral component of modern neurosurgery. Endoscopic stent placement for treatment of CSF pathway obstruction is a rarely used and underestimated procedure. The authors present the first series of neuroendoscopic intracranial stenting for CSF pathway obstruction in adults with associated results and complications spanning a long-term follow-up of 20 years.

Methods The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively maintained clinical database for endoscopic stent placement performed in adults between 1993 and 2013.

Results Of 526 endoscopic intraventricular procedures, stents were placed for treatment of CSF disorders in 25 cases (4.8%). The technique was used in the management of arachnoid cysts (ACs; n = 8), tumor-related CSF disorders (n = 13), and hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the foramen of Monro (n = 2) or aqueduct (n = 2). The mean follow-up was 87.1 months. No deaths or infections occurred that were related to endoscopic placement of intracranial stents. Late stent dislocation or migration was observed in 3 patients (12%).

Conclusions Endoscopic intracranial stent placement in adults is rarely required but is a safe and helpful technique in select cases. It is indicated when reliable and long-lasting restoration of CSF pathway obstructions cannot be achieved with standard endoscopic techniques. In the treatment of tumor-related hydrocephalus, it is a good option to avoid reclosure of the restored CSF pathway by tumor growth. Currently, routine stent placement after endoscopic fenestration of ACs is not recommended. Stent placement for treatment of CSF disorders due to tumor is a good option for avoiding CSF shunting. To avoid stent migration and dislocation, and to allow for easy removal if needed, the device should be fixed to a bur hole reservoir.

Endoscopic endonasal resection of skull base chondrosarcomas

Endoscopic endonasal resection of skull base chondrosarcomas- technique and early results

J Neurosurg 122:735–742, 2015

The authors of this study sought to report the technique and early clinical outcomes of a purely endonasal endoscopic approach for resection of petroclival chondrosarcomas.

Methods Between 2010 and 2014, 8 patients (4 men and 4 women) underwent endonasal endoscopic operations to resect petroclival chondrosarcomas at 2 institutions. The patients’ mean age was 44.8 years (range 30–64 years). One of the patients had previously undergone radiation therapy and another a staged craniotomy. Using volumetric software, an independent neuroradiologist assessed the extent of the resections on MRI scans taken immediately after surgery and at the 3-month follow-up. Immediate complications and control of symptoms were also recorded. In addition, the authors reviewed the current literature on surgical treatment of chondrosarcoma.

Results The mean preoperative tumor diameter and volume were 3.4 cm and 9.8 cm3, respectively. Six patients presented with cranial neuropathies. Endonasal endoscopic surgery achieved > 95% resection in 5 of the 8 patients and < 95% resection in the remaining 3 patients. One of the 6 neuropathies resolved, and the remaining 5 partially improved. One instance of postoperative CSF leakage required a reoperation for repair; no other complications associated with these operations were observed. All of the patients underwent adjuvant radiotherapy.

Conclusions According to the authors’ experience, the endoscopic endonasal route is a safe and effective approach for the resection of appropriately selected petroclival chondrosarcomas.

Optimal entry point for endoscopic colloid cyst resection

Endoscopic approach to colloid cysts

J Neurosurg 121:790–796, 2014

An optimal entry point and trajectory for endoscopic colloid cyst (ECC) resection helps to protect important neurovascular structures. There is a large discrepancy in the entry point and trajectory in the neuroendoscopic literature.

Methods. Trajectory views from MRI or CT scans used for cranial image guidance in 39 patients who had undergone ECC resection between July 2004 and July 2010 were retrospectively evaluated. A target point of the colloid cyst was extended out to the scalp through a trajectory carefully observed in a 3D model to ensure that important anatomical structures were not violated. The relation of the entry point to the midline and coronal sutures was established. Entry point and trajectory were correlated with the ventricular size.

Results. The optimal entry point was situated 42.3 ± 11.7 mm away from the sagittal suture, ranging from 19.1 to 66.9 mm (median 41.4 mm) and 46.9 ± 5.7 mm anterior to the coronal suture, ranging from 36.4 to 60.5 mm (median 45.9 mm). The distance from the entry point to the target on the colloid cyst varied from 56.5 to 78.0 mm, with a mean value of 67.9 ± 4.8 mm (median 68.5 mm). Approximately 90% of the optimal entry points are located 40–60 mm in front of the coronal suture, whereas their perpendicular distance from the midline ranges from 19.1 to 66.9 mm. The location of the “ideal” entry points changes laterally from the midline as the ventricles change in size.

Conclusions. The results suggest that the optimal entry for ECC excision be located at 42.3 ± 11.7 mm perpendicular to the midline, and 46.9 ± 5.7 mm anterior to the coronal suture, but also that this point differs with the size of the ventricles. Intraoperative stereotactic navigation should be considered for all ECC procedures whenever it is available. The entry point should be estimated from the patient’s own preoperative imaging studies if intraoperative neuronavigation is not available. An estimated entry point of 4 cm perpendicular to the midline and 4.5 cm anterior to the coronal suture is an acceptable alternative that can be used in patients with ventriculomegaly.

Endoscopic transchoroidal and transforaminal approaches for resection of third ventricular colloid cysts

Endoscopic resection IIIrd ventricular colloid cysts

Neurosurg Rev (2014) 37:227–234

To review our experience over 10 years in endoscopic resection of third ventricular colloid cysts, describing the details of the transventricular–transchoroidal approach used in selected patients.

This series included 24 patients with colloid cysts of the third ventricle treated in our department between October 2001 and January 2013 using an endoscopic approach. Clinical presentation, preoperative radiological findings, endoscopic technique employed, and complications were assessed in all patients.

The mean length of patient follow-up was 5.16 years. The most common symptom was headache (75 %). The average size of the resected colloid cysts was 16.25 mm, the maximum diameter measured in cranial magnetic resonance imaging. Resection was transforaminal in 16 cases (66.7 %), transchoroidal in 7 (29.17 %), and transseptal in 1; macroscopically complete resection was achieved in 23 of 24 procedures (95.8 %).

Complications included three intraventricular hemorrhages, four memory deficits (two of them transient), one case of temporary potomania, two soft tissue infections, and one meningitis. There were no statistically significant differences between the route of resection and number of complications.The Glasgow Outcome Scale at 1 year after surgery was 5 in 82.6 % of the patients.

A transventricular endoscopic approach allows macroscopically complete resection of third ventricle colloid cysts in most cases. The option of opening the choroidal fissure (transventricular–transchoroidal approach) during the procedure can address third ventricle colloid cysts that do not emerge sufficiently through the foramen of Monro without increasing procedure-related morbidity.

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.

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.

Management of non-traumatic intraventricular hemorrhage

Neurosurg Rev (2012) 35:485–495

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is defined as the eruption of blood in the cerebral ventricular system and is mostly secondary to spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage and aneurysmal and arteriovenous malformation rupture. IVH is a proven risk factor of increased mortality and poor functional outcome. Its seriousness is correlated not only with the amount of blood but also with the involvement of the third and fourth ventricles.

There are four mechanisms that explain the pathophysiology of this event: acute obstructive hydrocephalus, the mass effect exerted by the blood clot, the toxicity of bloodbreaking products on the adjacent brain parenchyma, and, lastly, the development of a chronic hydrocephalus. It is thus obvious that the clearance of blood from the ventricles should be a therapeutic goal.

In cases of acute hydrocephalus, external ventricular drainage is a mandatory step, but proven often insufficient. The concomitant use of intraventricular fibrinolytics such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator or urokinase seems to be beneficial at least in the context of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage, in which their use is now accepted but not yet validated by a randomized trial. Given the potential neurotoxicity of these agents, further research is needed in order to identify the best treatment for intraventricular fibrinolysis (IVF).

The endoscopic retrieval of intraventricular blood was also described recently and seems to be as efficient as IVF, but its use is limited to specialized centers.

IVH represents a therapeutic challenge for neurosurgeons, neurologists, and intensivists. Thus, a better understanding of this dramatic event will help in better tailoring the treatment strategies.

Endoscopic Treatment of Isolated Fourth Ventricle: Clinical and Radiological Outcome

Neurosurgery 70:847–859, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318236717f

Treatment of an isolated fourth ventricle should be considered when clinical symptoms or a significant mass effect occur.

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical and radiographic outcomes after endoscopic transaqueductal or transcisternal stent placement into the fourth ventricle. METHODS: In 19 patients (age, 34th week of gestation-20 years; median age, 17.5 months), 22 endoscopic procedures were performed. Either an aqueductoplasty or, in cases with a supratentorially extended fourth ventricular component, an interventricular fenestration was performed. In all patients, a stent connected to the cerebrospinal fluid–diverting shunt was placed through the fenestration. Surgical complications and radiological and clinical outcomes are reported.

RESULTS: All 19 patients had a mean follow-up of 26.9 ± 18.2 months. No persisting neurological complications were observed; 27.3% of patients experienced complete resolution of presenting symptoms, whereas 68.3% demonstrated partial resolution. Symptoms with short duration (< 4 weeks) resolved completely, whereas long-standing symptoms partially improved. Short-term shunt complications (n = 2; insufficient catheter placement and subdural hygroma) and a need for long-term stent revisions (n = 3; stent retraction and shunt revision for other causes) were observed. The mean fourth ventricular volume was reduced after surgery (44.2 ± 25.8 to 23.1 ± 21.9 mL; P < .01). Pontine diameter increased from 0.9 ± 0.3 to 1.2 ± 0.3 cm (P < .01) after surgery. Both effects were still demonstrated on later radiological follow-up of 24.4 ± 14.2 months (fourth ventricular size, 24.7 ± 28.1 mL; P < .01; pontine diameter, 1.3 ± 0.3 cm; P < .01).

CONCLUSION: The clinical and radiological outcomes after endoscopic aqueductoplasty and interventriculostomy in children with an isolated fourth ventricle indicate that this procedure is feasible, effective, and safe.

Pineal region tumors: an optimal approach for simultaneous endoscopic third ventriculostomy and biopsy

Neurosurg Focus 30 (4):E3, 2011. DOI: 10.3171/2011.2.FOCUS10301

Simultaneous endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and tumor biopsy is a widely accepted therapeutic and diagnostic procedure for patients with noncommunicating hydrocephalus secondary to a pineal region tumor. Multiple approaches have been advocated, including the use of a steerable fiberoptic or rigid lens endoscope via 1 or 2 trajectories. However, the optimal approach has not been established based on the individual anatomical characteristics of the patient.

 Methods. A retrospective review of patients undergoing simultaneous ETV and tumor biopsy was undertaken. Preoperative MR images were examined to measure the width of the anterior third ventricle and maximal diameters of the tumor, Monro foramen (right), and massa intermedia. The distances between the tumor and massa intermedia, tumor and anterior commissure, midbrain and massa intermedia, and the dorsum sella and anterior commissure were also recorded. Single and dual trajectory approaches were compared using paired t-tests for each parameter.

Results. Over an 8-year interval, 15 patients underwent simultaneous ETV and tumor management. These patients ranged from 6 to 71 years of age (mean 36.7 years); 5 were younger than 18 years of age. Seven were treated using a dual trajectory approach, and 8 were treated using a single trajectory approach. All cases were completed without complications or the need for an additional CSF diversionary procedure within 6 months. The diagnostic yield at biopsy was 86.7%. There were no statistically significant differences between the single and dual trajectory groups for the measured parameters. However, the dual trajectory group demonstrated a larger anterior third ventricular diameter (1.43 vs 1.21 cm, p = 0.29). The single trajectory group trended toward a smaller tumor– anterior commissure interval (2.23 vs 2.51 cm, p = 0.24) and a larger dorsum sella–anterior commissure distance (1.67 vs 1.49 cm, p = 0.28).

Conclusions. These data confirm the safety and diagnostic efficacy of simultaneous ETV and biopsy for tumors of the pineal region. Although no statistically significant differences were seen in the authors’ recorded measurements, several trends suggest a role for a tailored approach to selecting a single or dual trajectory approach when using a rigid endoscope

Intracranial Cysts Containing Cerebrospinal Fluid- Like Fluid: Results of Endoscopic Neurosurgery in a Series of 64 Consecutive Cases

Neurosurgery 68:788–803, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318207ac91

Intracranial cysts containing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be developmental or acquired.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the results of endoscopic neurosurgery in the management of intracranial CSF cysts.

METHODS: In a 7-year period, 64 consecutive patients underwent endoscopic neurosurgery for CSF cysts. Group 1 consisted of 13 patients with acquired cysts; group 2 included 51 patients with developmental cysts. In all cases, the cyst walls were fenestrated through small burr holes with frameless guided operative endoscopes. Follow-up ranged from 1 to 6 years (mean, 3.4 years).

RESULTS: There were no mortality and no permanent morbidity, apart from a patient (1.6%) who remained neurologically intact but required ventriculoperitoneal shunting because of intraoperative hemorrhage. The planned fenestrations could be performed in all patients except 2, owing to thick, opaque cyst walls. In group 1, 6 patients fully recovered and remained intact throughout the follow-up, whereas 7 improved but had various degrees of neurological disabilities that were related to their initial diseases. Radiological results were excellent in all cases. In group 2, there were 7 asymptomatic patients who remained unchanged and 44 ‘‘symptomatic’’ patients: 40 (91%) clinically improved, 4 (9%) remained unchanged, and none worsened. Cyst size decreased in 37 patients (74%) and remained unchanged in 13 (26%).

CONCLUSION: In this series, patients of different ages, harboring cysts of various sizes and locations, could be satisfactorily treated with endoscopic neurosurgery.

Stereotactic versus endoscopic surgery in periventricular lesions

Acta Neurochir (2011) 153:517–526.DOI 10.1007/s00701-010-0933-x

Endoscopic and stereotactic surgery have gained widespread acceptance as minimally invasive tools for the diagnosis of intracerebral pathologies. We investigated the specific advantages and disadvantages of each technique in the assessment of periventricular lesions.

Method This study included a retrospective series of 70 patients with periventricular lesions. Endoscopic surgery was performed in 17 patients (mean age, 37 years; range, 4 months–78 years) and stereotactic biopsy in 55 patients (mean age, 63 years; range, 23–80 years), including two patients who underwent both procedures.

Results Hydrocephalus was present in 13/17 patients in the endoscopic group (77%) and in 11/55 patients in the stereotactic group (20%). Diagnosis was achieved in all patients in the endoscopic group and in all but one patient in the stereotactic group, in whom histological diagnosis was obtained by endoscopic biopsy during a second operation. In the endoscopic group, additional procedures performed included ventriculostomy (2/17), cyst fenestration (3/17), endoscopic shunt revision (3/17) and placement of Rickham reservoirs or external cerebrospinal fluid drains (6/17). Adverse events occurred in one patient after endoscopy (chronic subdural hematoma) and in two patients after stereotactic surgery (one mild hemiparesis and one transitory paresis of the contralateral leg).

Conclusions Endoscopic and stereotactic surgery have distinct advantages and disadvantages in approaching periventricular lesions. The advantages of endoscopy encompass the possibility to perform additional surgical procedures during the same session (e.g. tumour reduction, third ventriculostomy, fenestration of a cyst). The visual control reduces the hazard of injury to anatomical structures and allows for a better control of bleeding although there is a considerable blind-out in such situations. The advantages of stereotactic surgery include a smaller approach and precise planning of the trajectory. It is usually performed under local anaesthesia. Both methods provide a safe and efficient therapeutic option in periventricular lesions with low surgical-related morbidity.