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  • Author or Editor: Neil A. Feldstein x
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Jason A. Ellis, Richard C. E. Anderson, Jonathan O'Hanlon, Robert R. Goodman, Neil A. Feldstein and Saadi Ghatan


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) may be refractory to available medical and surgical therapies. Patients with this condition may suffer from intractable headaches, experience visual deterioration, or have other symptoms related to elevated intracranial pressure. Internal cranial expansion (ICE) is a novel surgical procedure that the authors have developed for the treatment of patients with this condition. Here, they describe ICE and present their initial experience in using this surgical procedure for the treatment of patients with refractory IIH.


The authors conducted a retrospective review of 10 consecutive patients who underwent ICE for the treatment of IIH during a 5-year period. Preoperative and postoperative clinical parameters including patient symptoms, presence of papilledema, and available ICP or CSF opening pressures were compared. Procedural details and complications were noted. Intracranial volume increases were calculated using available pre- and postoperative CT scans.


Follow-up for the 10 patients in this series ranged from 1 to 39.6 months (mean 15.5 months). Technically successful ICE was performed in all patients within the cohort. Surgical complications included a single postoperative seizure in one patient and a sagittal sinus tear with no clinical sequelae in another patient. At the time of last follow-up, 7 (70%) of 10 patients were either symptomatically improved or asymptomatic. Six (67%) of 9 patients with preoperative headaches had reduction or resolution of this symptom, and all patients (4 of 4) with preoperative papilledema had a reduction in or complete resolution of this sign. Postoperative ICP or CSF opening pressures were normal in all patients (4 of 4) tested. Postoperative intracranial volume expansion ranged between 3.8% and 12%.


Internal cranial expansion is a safe and effective surgery for the treatment of patients with refractory IIH. This surgery expands the intracranial volume and thus promotes ICP normalization, which may lead to the reduction or complete resolution of the signs and symptoms of IIH. Internal cranial expansion may be used as part of a multidisciplinary management approach in the treatment of refractory IIH.

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Theodore H. Schwartz, Brian Ho, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Neil A. Feldstein and Robert R. Goodman

Object. Ventricular size often shows no obvious change following third ventriculostomy, particularly in the early postoperative period, making postoperative evaluation difficult without expensive and often invasive testing in patients with equivocal clinical responses. The authors hypothesized that performing careful volumetric measurements would show decreases in size within the first 3 weeks after surgery.

Methods. Volumetric measurements were calculated from standard 3 × 3—mm axial computerized tomography (CT) scans obtained immediately before and 3 and 21 days after surgery. Two independent investigators measured third ventricular volume in a series of 16 patients and lateral ventricular volume in 10 of the patients undergoing stereotactically guided endoscopic third ventriculostomy for noncommunicating hydrocephalus.

Fifteen patients were symptomatically improved at the time the follow-up scan was obtained. Third ventricular volume decreased in all patients by a mean of 35% (range 7.8–95.1%) and lateral ventricular volume decreased in all patients by a mean of 33% (range 4.5–80.3%). The degree of change correlated with the length of preoperative symptoms (p <0.005). The one patient who experienced no improvement showed no decrease in third ventricular volume. In seven of 10 patients, the decrease in third ventricular volume exceeded the decrease in lateral ventricular volume. Repeated measurements indicated that the 95% confidence interval for the authors' calculations varied around the mean by 2.5% for third ventricular volume and 1.2% for lateral ventricular volume. Long-term outcome was excellent, with only one case of delayed failure. The mean follow-up duration was 12 months.

Conclusions. Volumetric measurements calculated from standard CT scans will show a demonstrable decrease in ventricular volume soon after successful third ventriculostomy and can be helpful in assessing patients postoperatively. Although the third ventricle may exhibit a greater decrease, the lateral ventricular measurements are more accurate. Patients with more indolent symptoms show the smallest change.