The optimal clinical management of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation (PHVD)/posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) in premature infants remains unclear. A common approach involves temporary treatment of hydrocephalus in these patients with a ventriculosubgaleal shunt (VSGS), ventricular access device (VAD), or external ventricular drain (EVD) until it becomes evident that the patient needs and can tolerate permanent CSF diversion (i.e., ventriculoperitoneal shunt). The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to provide a robust and comprehensive summary of the published literature regarding the clinical outcomes and complications of these 3 techniques as temporizing measures in the management of prematurity-related PHVD/PHH.
The authors searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Library for studies published through December 2013 on the use of VSGSs, VADs, and/or EVDs as temporizing devices for the treatment of hydrocephalus following IVH in the premature neonate. Data pertaining to patient demographic data, study methods, interventions, and outcomes were extracted from eligible articles. For each of the 3 types of temporizing device, the authors performed meta-analyses examining 6 outcomes of interest, which were rates of 1) obstruction; 2) infection; 3) arrest of hydrocephalus (i.e., permanent shunt independence); 4) mortality; 5) good neurodevelopmental outcome; and 6) revision.
Thirty-nine studies, representing 1502 patients, met eligibility criteria. All of the included articles were observational studies; 36 were retrospective and 3 were prospective designs. Nine studies (n = 295) examined VSGSs, 24 (n = 962) VADs, and 9 (n = 245) EVDs. Pooled rates of outcome for VSGS, VAD, and EVD, respectively, were 9.6%, 7.3%, and 6.8% for obstruction; 9.2%, 9.5%, and 6.7% for infection; 12.2%, 10.8%, and 47.3% for revision; 13.9%, 17.5%, and 31.8% for arrest of hydrocephalus; 12.1%, 15.3%, and 19.1% for death; and 58.7%, 50.1%, and 56.1% for good neurodevelopmental outcome.
This study provides robust estimates of outcomes for the most common temporizing treatments for IVH in premature infants. With few exceptions, the range of outcomes was similar for VSGS, VAD, and EVD.