Pediatric gravitational shunts: initial results from a prospective study

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  • Department of Neurosurgery, Saarland University Medical School, Saarland, Germany
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Object

The authors' goal in this paper was to evaluate prospectively the efficacy and safety of a new pediatric gravitational shunt to determine whether it warrants inclusion in a randomized, controlled trial with other shunts.

Methods

A total of 55 children between the ages of 0 and 6 years (median age 0.5 years, average age 4 ± 6 years) underwent primary shunt implantation; all received the Miethke Paedi-GAV. The follow-up period ranged between 12 and 77 months (mean 47 ± 21 months). The primary end point of the study was the first shunt failure necessitating revision.

The 1- and 2-year shunt survival rates were 75 and 68%, respectively. The average failure-free shunt survival duration was 1423 ± 641 days. Based on imaging findings, no slitlike ventricles occurred. The complication rate was 33%, and the median time to shunt failure was 45 days. Underdrainage occurred in one child (1.8%) and overdrainage in two children (3.6%).

Conclusions

These preliminary results prove the Miethke Paedi-GAV to be a safe and effective pediatric shunt worthy of inclusion in a randomized comparison with other shunts in the pediatric population.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

CSF = cerebrospinal fluid; FOHR = frontooccipital horn ratio; SVS = slit ventricle syndrome.

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