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Zohreh Habibi, Mehdi Golpayegani, Bahar Ashjaei, Keyvan Tayebi Meybodi, and Farideh Nejat

OBJECTIVE

Distal catheter malfunction due to pseudocyst formation or intraabdominal adhesion is a significant problem, especially in pediatric patients who have limited sites for distal catheter insertion. In this study, the authors present a series of 12 patients with intractable distal shunt malfunctions due to peritoneal pseudocyst formation who underwent distal catheter replacement in the suprahepatic space to reduce the risk of distal catheter malfunction.

METHODS

Twelve consecutive patients with shunt malfunction due to pseudocyst formation who had undergone ventriculosuprahepatic shunting from 2014 to 2019 were identified. According to medical records, after primary evaluations, shunt removal, and antibiotic therapy, they underwent revision surgeries with placement of a distal catheter into the suprahepatic space.

RESULTS

Nine boys and 3 girls, ranging in age from 5 months to 14 years, with one or more episodes of pseudocyst formation, underwent shunt revision with placement of a distal catheter into the suprahepatic space. After a median follow-up of 31 months, none of the patients experienced further distal malfunction.

CONCLUSIONS

The suprahepatic space appears to be a safe place to secure the distal end of a ventricular catheter following pseudocyst formation, with less risk of re-adhesion. This lower risk might be attributable to the lack of omentum in the suprahepatic space.

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Esmaeil Mohammadi, Sara Hanaei, Sina Azadnajafabad, Keyvan Tayebi Meybodi, Zohreh Habibi, and Farideh Nejat

OBJECTIVE

The role of tunneling an external ventricular drain (EVD) more than the standard 5 cm for controlling device-related infections remains controversial.

METHODS

This is a randomized, double-blind, 3-arm controlled trial done in the Children’s Medical Center in Tehran, Iran. Pediatric patients (< 18 years old) with temporary hydrocephalus requiring an EVD and no evidence of CSF infection or prior EVD insertion were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) into the following arms: 5-cm (standard; group A); 10-cm (group B); or 15-cm (group C) EVD tunnel lengths. The investigators, parents, and person performing the analysis were masked. The surgeon was informed of the length of the EVD by the monitoring board just before operation. Patients were followed until the EVD’s fate was established. Infection rate and other complications related to EVDs were assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 105 patients were enrolled in three random groups (group A = 36, group B = 35, and group C = 34). The EVD was removed because there was no further need in most cases (67.6%), followed by conversion to a new EVD or ventriculoperitoneal shunt (15.2%), infection (11.4%), and spontaneous discharge without further CSF diversion requirement (5.7%). No statistical difference was found in infection rate (p = 0.47) or EVD duration (p = 0.81) between the three groups. No group reached the efficacy point sooner than the standard group (group B: hazard ratio 1.21, 95% CI 0.75–1.94, p = 0.429; group C: hazard ratio 1.03, 95% CI 0.64–1.65, p = 0.91).

CONCLUSIONS

EVD tunnel lengths of 5 cm and longer did not show a difference in the infection rate in pediatric patients. Indeed, tunneling lengths of 5 cm and greater seem to be equally effective in preventing EVD infection.

Clinical trial registration no.: IRCT20160430027680N2 (IRCT.ir)