Rigid versus flexible neuroendoscopy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of endoscopic third ventriculostomy for the management of pediatric hydrocephalus

Daphne Li MD1, Vijay M. Ravindra MD, MSPH2, and Sandi K. Lam MD3,4
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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois;
  • | 2 Department of Neurological Surgery, Naval Medical Center San Diego, California;
  • | 3 Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; and
  • | 4 Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
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OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), with or without choroid plexus cauterization (±CPC), is a technique used for the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus. Rigid or flexible neuroendoscopy can be used, but few studies directly compare the two techniques. Here, the authors sought to compare these methods in treating pediatric hydrocephalus.

METHODS

A systematic MEDLINE search was conducted using combinations of keywords: “flexible,” “rigid,” “endoscope/endoscopic,” “ETV,” and “hydrocephalus.” Inclusion criteria were as follows: English-language studies with patients 2 years of age and younger who had undergone ETV±CPC using rigid or flexible endoscopy for hydrocephalus. The primary outcome was ETV success (i.e., without the need for further CSF diversion procedures). Secondary outcomes included ETV-related and other complications. Statistical significance was determined via independent t-tests and Mood’s median tests.

RESULTS

Forty-eight articles met the study inclusion criteria: 37 involving rigid endoscopy, 10 involving flexible endoscopy, and 1 propensity scored–matched comparison. A cumulative 560 patients had undergone 578 rigid ETV±CPC, and 661 patients had undergone 672 flexible ETV±CPC. The flexible endoscopy cohort had a significantly lower average age at the time of the procedure (0.33 vs 0.53 years, p = 0.001) and a lower preoperatively predicted ETV success score (median 40, IQR 32.5–57.5 vs 62.5, IQR 50–70; p = 0.033). Average ETV success rates in the rigid versus flexible groups were 54.98% and 59.65% (p = 0.63), respectively. ETV-related complication rates did not differ significantly at 0.63% for flexible endoscopy and 3.46% for rigid endoscopy (p = 0.30). There was no significant difference in ETV success or complication rate in comparing ETV, ETV+CPC, and ETV with other concurrent procedures.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite the lower expected ETV success scores for patients treated with flexible endoscopy, the authors found similar ETV success and complication rates for ETV±CPC with flexible versus rigid endoscopy, as reported in the literature. Further direct comparison between the techniques is necessary.

ABBREVIATIONS

CPC = choroid plexus cauterization; ETV = endoscopic third ventriculostomy; ETVSS = ETV success score.

Image from Mavridis et al. (pp 404–415).

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