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Joseph T. Cheatle, Alexis N. Bowder, Sandeep K. Agrawal, Michael D. Sather and Leslie C. Hellbusch


Cerebrospinal fluid shunt systems malfunction for a multitude of reasons, including malpostitioning, obstruction of the ventricular or distal catheter, obstruction of the shunt valve, and catheter disruptions or disconnections. The goal of this study was to examine the hydrodynamic resistance and flow in new and explanted catheters and also in catheters with 1 or 2 straight connectors.


Explanted catheters of multiple lengths, 2-piece catheters, 3-piece catheters, and new catheters were attached to a proximal and distal manometer. A flask with artificial CSF attached to the proximal end provided flow. The flow was allowed to stabilize over 1 hour; then the change in pressure between the proximal and distal end of the catheter was measured.


The resistance to flow was calculated for new, never-implanted catheters and compared with the resistance of explanted distal shunt catheters. The resistance of the new catheters was examined after the addition of 1 and 2 straight connectors. Explanted catheters exhibited a slight increase in the resistance to flow of artificial CSF compared with new catheters. Two-piece and 3-piece catheters had a significant increase in resistance to flow compared with new catheters. For all catheters, resistance to flow increased as length increased (new, p = 0.01; explanted, p = 0.009; 1 connector, p = 0.01; 2 connectors, p = 0.03). In this paper, effective diameter is defined as the available cross-sectional area of catheter contacted by the artificial CSF. For new and explanted catheters, a decrease in the effective diameter of the catheter was associated with an increase in the resistance to flow of artificial CSF (new, p = 0.1083; explanted, p = 0.0091). However, after the addition of 1 or 2 connectors, an inverse trend was observed: resistance to flow increased with effective diameter.


There appears to be some increase in resistance of CSF shunt catheters as they age, altering flow dynamics. In addition, the use of straight connectors within a CSF shunt system increases the resistance to flow of artificial CSF within the shunt system. The increase in resistance appears to be related to the duration of implantation and the length of the catheter and inversely related to the diameter of the catheter. This increase in resistance may be related to sterile shunt malfunction. The addition of straight connectors is associated with a significant increase in resistance in comparison with catheters without connectors (p = 0.005).

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Elsa V. Arocho-Quinones, Sean M. Lew, Michael H. Handler, Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Matthew Smyth, Robert Bollo, David Donahue, M. Scott Perry, Michael L. Levy, David Gonda, Francesco T. Mangano, Phillip B. Storm, Angela V. Price, Daniel E. Couture, Chima Oluigbo, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Gene H. Barnett, Carrie R. Muh, Michael D. Sather, Aria Fallah, Anthony C. Wang, Sanjiv Bhatia, Kadam Patel, Sergey Tarima, Sarah Graber, Sean Huckins, Daniel M. Hafez, Kavelin Rumalla, Laurie Bailey, Sabrina Shandley, Ashton Roach, Erin Alexander, Wendy Jenkins, Deki Tsering, George Price, Antonio Meola, Wendi Evanoff, Eric M. Thompson, Nicholas Brandmeir and the Pediatric Stereotactic Laser Ablation Workgroup


This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of MR-guided stereotactic laser ablation (SLA) therapy in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.


Data from 17 North American centers were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, technical, and radiographic data for pediatric patients treated with SLA for a diagnosis of brain tumor from 2008 to 2016 were collected and analyzed.


A total of 86 patients (mean age 12.2 ± 4.5 years) with 76 low-grade (I or II) and 10 high-grade (III or IV) tumors were included. Tumor location included lobar (38.4%), deep (45.3%), and cerebellar (16.3%) compartments. The mean follow-up time was 24 months (median 18 months, range 3–72 months). At the last follow-up, the volume of SLA-treated tumors had decreased in 80.6% of patients with follow-up data. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to have an unchanged or larger tumor size after SLA treatment than those with low-grade tumors (OR 7.49, p = 0.0364). Subsequent surgery and adjuvant treatment were not required after SLA treatment in 90.4% and 86.7% of patients, respectively. Patients with high-grade tumors were more likely to receive subsequent surgery (OR 2.25, p = 0.4957) and adjuvant treatment (OR 3.77, p = 0.1711) after SLA therapy, without reaching significance. A total of 29 acute complications in 23 patients were reported and included malpositioned catheters (n = 3), intracranial hemorrhages (n = 2), transient neurological deficits (n = 11), permanent neurological deficits (n = 5), symptomatic perilesional edema (n = 2), hydrocephalus (n = 4), and death (n = 2). On long-term follow-up, 3 patients were reported to have worsened neuropsychological test results. Pre-SLA tumor volume, tumor location, number of laser trajectories, and number of lesions created did not result in a significantly increased risk of complications; however, the odds of complications increased by 14% (OR 1.14, p = 0.0159) with every 1-cm3 increase in the volume of the lesion created.


SLA is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for pediatric brain tumors, although it is not without risks. Limiting the volume of the generated thermal lesion may help decrease the incidence of complications.