Complications of neuroendoscopic septostomy

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama;
  • | 2 University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama; and
  • | 3 Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children’s of Alabama—University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama
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OBJECTIVE

The advent of neuroendoscopy revolutionized the management of complex hydrocephalus. Fenestration of the septum pellucidum (septostomy) is often a therapeutic and/or necessary intervention in neuroendoscopy. However, these procedures are not without risk. The authors sought to record the incidence and types of complications. They attempted to discern if there was decreased likelihood of septostomy complications in patients who underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV)/choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) as compared with those who underwent other procedures and those with larger ventricles preoperatively. The authors investigated different operative techniques and their possible relationships to septostomy complications.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all neuroendoscopic procedures with Current Procedural Terminology code 62161 performed from January 2003 until June 2019 at their institution. Septostomy, either alone or in conjunction with other procedures, was performed in 118 cases. Basic demographic characteristics, clinical histories, operative details/findings, and adverse events (intraoperative and postoperative) were collected. Pearson chi-square and univariate logistic regression analyses were performed. Patients with incomplete records were excluded.

RESULTS

Of 118 procedures, 29 (24.5%) septostomies had either intraoperative or postoperative complications. The most common intraoperative complication was bleeding, as noted in 12 (10.2%) septostomies. Neuroendocrine dysfunction, including apnea, bradycardia, neurological deficit, seizure, etc., was the most common postoperative complication and seen after 15 (12.7%) procedures. No significant differences in complications were noted between ventricular size or morphology or between different operative techniques or ventricular approaches. There was no significant difference between the complication rate of patients who underwent ETV/CPC and that of patients who underwent septostomy as a part of other procedures. Greater length of surgery (OR 1.013) was associated with septostomy complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Neuroendoscopy for hydrocephalus due to varying etiologies provides significant utility but is not without risk. The authors did not find associations between larger ventricular size or posterior endoscope approach and lower complication rates, as hypothesized. No significant difference in complication rates was noted between septostomy performed during ETV/CPC and other endoscopic procedures requiring septostomy.

ABBREVIATIONS

CPC = choroid plexus cauterization; CPT = Current Procedural Terminology; EMR = electronic medical record; ETV = endoscopic third ventriculostomy; EVD = external ventricular drain; FOHR = frontooccipital horn ratio; IVH = intraventricular hemorrhage.

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