Nationwide investigation of the current status of therapeutic neuroendoscopy for ventricular and paraventricular tumors in Japan

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The authors report their investigation on the current status of neuroendoscopic biopsy for ventricular and paraventricular tumors as well as treatment for associated hydrocephalus in Japan.


Patients who had undergone therapeutic neuroendoscopy between 2005 and 2009 were included in this study. The main items examined were age; sex; localization of tumor; pathological diagnosis using biopsy; the presence, treatment, and efficacy of treatment of associated hydrocephalus; perioperative complications; activities of daily living (ADL) before and after therapeutic neuroendoscopy; and the presence of dissemination during the postoperative course.


Seven hundred fourteen patients from 123 sites (462 male and 252 female patients, mean age 33.3 years) were enrolled. Localization of the tumor was mainly classified into the lateral ventricle in 91 patients, the third ventricle in 339, the fourth ventricle in 18, the suprasellar region in 75, and other paraventricular areas in 191 patients. The most commonly observed tumors were germ cell tumors in the third ventricle (177 cases [39%]), cystic lesions in the suprasellar region (56 cases [75%]), and astrocytic tumors in the thalamus-basal ganglia (71 cases [38%]). Although 641 (92.8%) of 691 patients could receive neuroendoscopic diagnosis using biopsy, the diagnosis obtained with endoscopic biopsy differed from the final diagnosis based on subsequent craniotomy in 18 patients and clinical course in 3 patients. Of these 21 patients, 7 had astrocytic tumors, 4 had pineal tumors, 6 had germ cell tumors, and 4 had other tumors. The final diagnostic accuracy rate was 89.7%. Associated hydrocephalus was observed in 517 patients (72.4%), of whom 316 and 39 underwent third ventriculostomy and fenestration of the septum, respectively. The response rates were 96.2% and 89.7%, respectively. Third ventriculostomy was required for recurrence of hydrocephalus in 41 patients (13.0%), and the long-term response rate was therefore 83.2% (263 of 316 patients). Perioperative complications other than fever, such as new onset of or progressive hydrocephalus, infection due to CSF leakage, and bleeding in the ventricle or tumor, were found in 81 patients (11.3%). The median Karnofsky Performance Scale score before endoscopic surgery was 80, but it increased to 90 after surgery. The score was thus significantly increased after surgery (p < 0.0001, Mann-Whitney U-test). Activities of daily living after surgery decreased due to perioperative complications in 15 patients (2.1%). The incidence of new dissemination after endoscopic biopsy was 6.8% and not high compared with routine surgical treatment.


The authors concluded that neuroendoscopic diagnosis using biopsy for ventricular and paraventricular tumors is adequately accurate and safe. It was demonstrated that endoscopic procedures play important roles not only in the treatment of hydrocephalus associated with intra- and paraventricular tumors but also in significantly improving ADL. Furthermore, the long-term outcome of endoscopic third ventriculostomy was clearly favorable.

Abbreviations used in this paper: ADL = activities of daily living; KPS = Karnofsky Performance Scale; VP = ventriculoperitoneal.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Nakamasa Hayashi, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online August 12, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.7.JNS101976.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



  • View in gallery

    Incidence of tumor histologies in 206 children younger than 15 years of age (left), and in 74 elderly patients 70 years of age or older (right) from whom an endoscopic biopsy sample was obtained.

  • View in gallery

    Graph showing the changes in KPS scores from before to after surgery. 40− indicates a KPS score of 40 or less.



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