Although in recent years endoscopic procedures have been used for intracranial arachnoid cysts with favorable preliminary results in certain locations, optimal surgical treatment is still controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of endoscopic transventricular ventriculocystostomy in the treatment of intracranial cysts based on the concept of normalizing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics.
Twelve symptomatic pediatric patients with congenital intracranial cysts underwent surgery at Jikei University in Tokyo. A neuroendoscopic transventricular ventriculocystostomy was performed in nine patients and an endoscope-assisted craniotomy in the remaining three. Endoscopy was performed using a freehand maneuver with a newly designed rigid-rod neuroendoscope that is frameless and has a small diameter.
Clinical results were good in all patients, although cysts in three were not prominently reduced in size when follow-up imaging studies were performed. Neither death nor symptomatic morbidity occurred, and no patient required shunt placement. In three cases the endoscopic fenestration was associated with an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). Postoperative CSF dynamics studies consisting of computerized tomography ventriculocysternography, and pre- and postoperative cine-mode magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated free communication between fenestrated cysts and ventricular/cistern CSF pathways consistent with normalization of CSF dynamics.
Neuroendoscopic transventricular ventriculocystostomy constitutes a valid alternative to microsurgery for intracranial cysts located within or adjacent to the ventricles. It creates an effective CSF flow within the cyst with minimal alteration of subarachnoid spaces. It may be combined with an ETV procedure in case of obstruction of CSF pathways and should be preferred to the insertion of shunts.