Long-term outcome for endoscopic third ventriculostomy alone or in combination with choroid plexus cauterization for congenital aqueductal stenosis in African infants

Clinical article

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Boston;
  • 2 Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston;
  • 3 University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester, Massachusetts; and
  • 4 CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda, Mbale, Uganda
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Object

The authors have previously reported on the overall improved efficacy of endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) combined with choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) for infants younger than 1 year of age. In the present study they specifically examined the long-term efficacy of ETV with or without CPC in 35 infants with congenital aqueduct stenosis treated at CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda during the years 2001–2006.

Methods

Infants with congenital aqueductal stenosis were treated during 2 distinct treatment epochs: all underwent ETV alone, and subsequently all underwent ETV-CPC. Prospectively collected data in the clinical database were reviewed for all infants with an age < 1 year who had been treated for hydrocephalus due to congenital aqueductal stenosis. Study exclusion criteria included: 1) a history or findings on imaging or at the time of ventriculoscopy that suggested a possible infectious cause of the hydrocephalus, including scarred choroid plexus; 2) an open aqueduct or an aqueduct obstructed by a membrane or cyst rather than by stenosis; 3) severe malformations of the cerebral hemispheres including hydranencephaly, significant segments of undeveloped brain, or schizencephaly; 4) myelomeningocele, encephalocele, Dandy-Walker complex, or tumor; or 5) previous shunt insertion. The time to treatment failure was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method to construct survival curves. Log-rank (Mantel-Cox) and Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon tests were used to determine whether differences between the 2 treatment groups were significant.

Results

Thirty-five patients met the study criteria. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy alone was performed in 12 patients (mean age 4.7 months), and combined ETV-CPC was performed in 23 patients (mean age 3.5 months). For patients without treatment failure, the mean and median follow-ups were, respectively, 51.6 and 48.0 months in the ETV group and 31.2 and 26.4 months in the ETV-CPC group. Treatment was successful in 48.6% of the patients who underwent ETV alone, as accurately predicted by the Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy Success Score (ETVSS), and in 81.9% of the patients who underwent ETV-CPC (p = 0.0119, log-rank test; p = 0.0041, Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon test; HR 6.42 [95% CI 1.51–27.36]).

Conclusions

Combined ETV-CPC is significantly superior to ETV alone for infants younger than 1 year of age with congenital aqueductal stenosis. The fact that the outcome for ETV alone was accurately predicted by the ETVSS suggests that these results are applicable in developed countries.

Abbreviations used in this paper:CCHU = CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda; CPC = choroid plexus cauterization; ETV = endoscopic third ventriculostomy; ETVSS = ETV Success Score.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Benjamin C. Warf, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. email: benjamin.warf@childrens.harvard.edu.
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