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Matthew G. Stovell, Rasheed Zakaria, Jonathan R. Ellenbogen, Mathew J. Gallagher, Michael D. Jenkinson, Caroline Hayhurst and Conor L. Mallucci

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is an effective treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus and avoids the risk for foreign-body infection associated with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts. The short-term failure rate of ETV strongly depends on the indications for its use but is generally thought to be lower in the long term than that of VP shunts. However, few studies are available with long-term follow-up data of ETV for hydrocephalus in children. The authors reviewed the long-term success of ETV at their institution to investigate the rate of any late failures of this procedure.

METHODS

Between April 1998 and June 2006, 113 children (including neonates and children up to 16 years old) had primary or secondary ETV for different causes of hydrocephalus. The patients' medical records and the authors' electronic operation database were reviewed for evidence of additional surgery (i.e., repeat ETV or VP shunt insertion). These records were checked at both the pediatric and adult neurosurgical hospitals for those patients who had their care transferred to adult services.

RESULTS

The median length of follow-up was 8.25 years (range 1 month to 16 years). Long-term follow-up data for 96 patients were available, 47 (49%) of whom had additional ETV or VP shunt insertion for ETV failure. Twenty patients (21%) had a second procedure within 1 month, 17 patients (18%) between 1 and 12 months, 7 patients (7%) between 1 and 5 years, and 3 patients (3%) between 5 and 8 years.

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors' series, ETV had an initial early failure rate for the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus as reported previously, and this rate significantly depended on patient age and hydrocephalus etiology. Once stabilized and effective, ETV appeared to be durable but not guaranteed, and some late decline in effectiveness was observed, with some ETV failures occurring many years later. Thus, successful ETV in children cannot be guaranteed for life, and some form of follow-up is recommended long term into adulthood.

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Michael D. Jenkinson, Damien C. Weber, Brian J. Haylock, Frances C. Sherratt, Bridget Young, Michael Weller, Helen Bulbeck, Giovanna Culeddu, Dyfrig A. Hughes, Alice Brain, Kumar Das, Matthias Preusser, Priya Francis and Carrol Gamble

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Michael D. Jenkinson, Damien C. Weber, Brian J. Haylock, Frances C. Sherratt, Bridget Young, Michael Weller, Helen Bulbeck, Giovanna Culeddu, Dyfrig A. Hughes, Alice Brain, Kumar Das, Matthias Preusser, Priya Francis and Carrol Gamble

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Michael D. Jenkinson, Caroline Hayhurst, Mohammed Al-Jumaily, Jothy Kandasamy, Simon Clark and Conor L. Mallucci

Object

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is the treatment of choice for hydrocephalus, but the outcome is dependent on the cause of this disorder, and the procedure remains principally the preserve of pediatric neurosurgeons. The role of ETV in adult patients with hydrocephalus was therefore investigated.

Methods

One hundred ninety adult patients underwent ETV for hydrocephalus. Cases were defined as primary ETV (newly diagnosed, without a previously placed shunt) and secondary ETV (performed for shunt malfunctions due to infection or mechanical blockage). Causes of hydrocephalus included tumor, long-standing overt ventriculomegaly (LOVA), Chiari malformation Types I and II (CM-I and -II), aqueduct stenosis, spina bifida, and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Successful ETV was defined as resolution of symptoms with shunt independence. Operative complications and ETV failure rate were investigated according to the causes of hydrocephalus and between the primary and secondary ETV groups.

Results

In the primary group, ETV was successful in 107 (83%) of 129 patients, including those with tumors (52 of 66), LOVA (21 of 24), CM-I (11 of 11 cases), CM-II (8 of 9), aqueduct stenosis (8 of 9), and IVH (2 of 2). In the secondary group, ETV was successful in 41 (67%) of 61 patients and was equally successful in cases of mechanical shunt malfunction (35 of 52 patients) and infected shunt malfunction (6 of 9 patients). The median time to ETV failure was 1.7 months in the primary group and 0.5 months in the secondary group. The majority of ETV failures occurred within the first 3 months, and thereafter, the Kaplan-Meier survival curves plateaued. There were no procedure-related deaths, and complications were seen in only 5.8% of cases.

Conclusions

The success rate of ETVs in adults is comparable, if not better, than in children. In addition to the well-defined role of ETV in the treatment of hydrocephalus caused by tumors and aqueduct stenosis, ETV may also have a role in the management of CM-I, LOVA, persistent shunt infection, and IVH resistant to other CSF diversion procedures.

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Simon Clark, Meharpal Sangra, Caroline Hayhurst, Jothi Kandasamy, Michael Jenkinson, Maggie Lee and Conor Mallucci

Object

The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the use of noninvasive electromagnetic neuronavigation in children, in particular its use in complex hydrocephalus and slit ventricle syndrome.

Methods

Prospective data was collected from all pediatric patients undergoing insertion of ventriculoperitoneal shunts using electromagnetic frameless neuronavigation from January 2006 to November 2007.

Results

Twenty-three patients fulfilled the study criteria. All ventricles were cannulated on the first pass. There were no immediate or early postprocedural complications. All but 1 patient had resolution of symptoms (mainly chronic headache) on follow-up (median 7 months, range 1–17 months). The proximal revision rate was 9% (2 of 23 patients). One patient required distal catheter revision. Infection occurred in 1 patient.

Conclusions

Electromagnetic neuronavigation using a frameless and pinless system is especially suited for pediatric patients. The authors hypothesize that successful placement of ventricular catheters will reduce morbidity and improve shunt longevity.

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Michael D. Jenkinson, Arousa Ali, Abdurrahman I. Islim, Adel Helmy and Robin Grant

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Caroline Hayhurst, Tjemme Beems, Michael D. Jenkinson, Patricia Byrne, Simon Clark, Jothy Kandasamy, John Goodden, Rishi D.S. Nandoe Tewarie and Conor L. Mallucci

Object

As many as 40% of shunts fail in the first year, mainly due to proximal obstruction. The role of catheter position on failure rates has not been clearly demonstrated. The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of navigated shunt placement compared with standard blind shunt placement at 3 European centers to assess the effect on shunt failure rates.

Methods

All adult and pediatric patients undergoing de novo ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement were included (patients with slit ventricles were excluded). The first cohort underwent standard shunt placement using anatomical landmarks. All centers subsequently adopted electromagnetic (EM) navigation for routine shunt placements, forming the second cohort. Catheter position was graded on postoperative CT in both groups using a 3-point scale developed for this study: (1) optimal position free-floating in CSF; (2) touching choroid or ventricular wall; or (3) intraparenchymal. Episodes and type of shunt revision were recorded. Early shunt failure was defined as that occurring within 30 days of surgery. Patients with shunts were followed-up for 12 months in the standard group, for a median of 6 months in the EM-navigated group, or until shunt failure.

Results

A total of 75 patients were included in the study, 41 with standard shunts and 34 with EM-navigated shunts. Seventy-four percent of navigated shunts were Grade 1 compared with 37% of the standard shunts (p = 0.001, chi-square test). There were no Grade 3 placements in the navigated group, but 8 in the standard group, and 75% of these failed. Early shunt failure occurred in 9 patients in the standard group and in 2 in the navigated group, reducing the early revision rate from 22 to 5.9% (p = 0.048, Fisher exact test). Early shunt failures were due to proximal obstruction in 78% of standard shunts (7 of 9) and in 50% of EM-navigated shunts (1 of 2).

Conclusions

Noninvasive EM image guidance in shunt surgery reduces poor shunt placement, resulting in a significant decrease in the early shunt revision rate.