Shunt surgery is the most common treatment for hydrocephalus, but it is associated with several long-term complications. Endoscopic choroid plexus coagulation (CPC) and endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) are alternative surgeries that may avoid the need for shunt surgery. Although the short-term efficacy and safety of CPC have been reported in previous studies, long-term outcome, including not only avoiding shunt placement but also intellectual development, remains to be elucidated. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the long-term outcome of CPC.
The study population comprised patients who had infantile hydrocephalus treated by endoscopic CPC before the age of 24 months and who were followed until at least 5 years of age. Retrospective review was performed using the medical charts. The authors assessed educational status and the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) IV as the means to evaluate the intellectual development.
Fourteen patients with infantile hydrocephalus underwent CPC with or without ETV as a primary surgery. There were no intraoperative complications. In 7 patients (50%), hydrocephalus was successfully controlled without shunt placement. Six patients (43%) eventually required shunt placement. In one patient hydrocephalus was controlled by additional ETV. In the shunt-independent group, 4 patients went to age-appropriate school or achieved age-appropriate development according to intelligence quotient (IQ), 1 patient went to specialized school, and 2 patients had disabilities. In the shunt-dependent group, 4 patients went to an age-appropriate school or achieved age-appropriate development by IQ, 1 patient went to specialized school, and 1 patient had disabilities. The mean FSIQ score in 3 patients without shunts was 90 (range 89–91) and the mean FSIQ score in 4 patients with shunts was 80 (range 48–107). There was no significant difference in the rate of normal development between the shunt-independent group and the shunt-dependent group (p = 0.72).
The CPC with or without ETV can be a safe and effective treatment in children with infantile hydrocephalus. Long-term control of hydrocephalus and normal intellectual development can be achieved in successful cases. Further prospective studies should be required to elucidate appropriate indications.