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Hans Christoph Bock, Jacqueline Feldmann and Hans Christoph Ludwig

OBJECTIVE

Perinatal intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in premature neonates may lead to severe neurological disability and lifelong treatment requirement for consecutive posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHHC). Early CSF diversion as a temporizing measure, or a permanent ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS), is the treatment of choice. Preterm neonates are not only at high risk for different perinatal but also for treatment-related complications. The authors reviewed their institutional neurosurgical management for preterm neonates with IVH-related PHHC and evaluated shunt-related surgical outcome for this particular hydrocephalus etiology after completion of a defined follow-up period of 5 years after initial shunt insertion.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed early surgical management for preterm newborns who presented with IVH and PHHC between 1995 and 2015. According to the guidelines, patients received implantation of a ventricular access device (VAD) for temporizing measures or direct VPS insertion as first-line surgical treatment. Surgical outcome was evaluated for a subgroup of 72 patients regarding time to first shunt revision and the mean number of shunt revisions during a time span of 5 years after initial shunt insertion. Gestational age (GA), extent of IVH, and timing and modality of initial surgical intervention were analyzed for potential impact on corresponding surgical outcome.

RESULTS

A total cohort of 99 preterm newborns with GAs ranging from 22 to 36 weeks (mean 28.3 weeks) with perinatal IVH-related PHHC and a median follow-up duration of 9.9 years postpartum could be selected for further investigation. Extent of perinatal IVH was defined as grade III or as periventricular hemorrhagic infarction in 75% of the patient cohort. Seventy-six patients (77%) underwent VAD insertion and temporizing measures as initial surgical treatment; for 72 (95%) of these a later conversion to permanent ventriculoperitoneal shunting was performed, and 23 patients received direct VPS insertion. Etiological and treatment-related variables revealed no significant impact on revision-free shunt survival but increased the mean numbers of shunt revisions after 5 years for low GA, higher-order IVH in the long term.

CONCLUSIONS

Low GA and higher-order IVH in preterm neonates with PHHC who are treated with VPSs show no significant impact on time to first shunt revision (i.e., revision-free shunt survival), but marked differences in mean revision rates evaluated after completion of 5 years of follow-up. Temporizing measures via a VAD represent a rational strategy to gain time and decision guidance in preterm patients with PHHC before permanent VPS insertion.

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Victor E. Staartjes, Morgan Broggi, Costanza Maria Zattra, Flavio Vasella, Julia Velz, Silvia Schiavolin, Carlo Serra, Jiri Bartek Jr., Alexander Fletcher-Sandersjöö, Petter Förander, Darius Kalasauskas, Mirjam Renovanz, Florian Ringel, Konstantin R. Brawanski, Johannes Kerschbaumer, Christian F. Freyschlag, Asgeir S. Jakola, Kristin Sjåvik, Ole Solheim, Bawarjan Schatlo, Alexandra Sachkova, Hans Christoph Bock, Abdelhalim Hussein, Veit Rohde, Marike L. D. Broekman, Claudine O. Nogarede, Cynthia M. C. Lemmens, Julius M. Kernbach, Georg Neuloh, Oliver Bozinov, Niklaus Krayenbühl, Johannes Sarnthein, Paolo Ferroli, Luca Regli, Martin N. Stienen and FEBNS

OBJECTIVE

Decision-making for intracranial tumor surgery requires balancing the oncological benefit against the risk for resection-related impairment. Risk estimates are commonly based on subjective experience and generalized numbers from the literature, but even experienced surgeons overestimate functional outcome after surgery. Today, there is no reliable and objective way to preoperatively predict an individual patient’s risk of experiencing any functional impairment.

METHODS

The authors developed a prediction model for functional impairment at 3 to 6 months after microsurgical resection, defined as a decrease in Karnofsky Performance Status of ≥ 10 points. Two prospective registries in Switzerland and Italy were used for development. External validation was performed in 7 cohorts from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Age, sex, prior surgery, tumor histology and maximum diameter, expected major brain vessel or cranial nerve manipulation, resection in eloquent areas and the posterior fossa, and surgical approach were recorded. Discrimination and calibration metrics were evaluated.

RESULTS

In the development (2437 patients, 48.2% male; mean age ± SD: 55 ± 15 years) and external validation (2427 patients, 42.4% male; mean age ± SD: 58 ± 13 years) cohorts, functional impairment rates were 21.5% and 28.5%, respectively. In the development cohort, area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.72 (95% CI 0.69–0.74) were observed. In the pooled external validation cohort, the AUC was 0.72 (95% CI 0.69–0.74), confirming generalizability. Calibration plots indicated fair calibration in both cohorts. The tool has been incorporated into a web-based application available at https://neurosurgery.shinyapps.io/impairment/.

CONCLUSIONS

Functional impairment after intracranial tumor surgery remains extraordinarily difficult to predict, although machine learning can help quantify risk. This externally validated prediction tool can serve as the basis for case-by-case discussions and risk-to-benefit estimation of surgical treatment in the individual patient.