Mikhail F. Chernov, Shuji Kamikawa, Fumitaka Yamane, Shoichiro Ishihara and Tomokatsu Hori
Object. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an original neurofiberscope-guided strategy for the management of slit-ventricle syndrome that occurs after shunt placement.
Methods. Between 1995 and 2003 15 patients with slit-ventricle syndrome (mean age 14.2 years) underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) and shunt removal. During the initial surgical procedure a neurofiberscope with a small outer diameter was inserted along the shunt tube into the collapsed ventricle for endoscopically controlled removal of the ventricular catheter and evaluation of brain compliance. If the latter was sufficiently preserved, primary ETV and shunt removal were performed (four cases). If brain compliance seemed to be significantly reduced, endoscopically controlled replacement of the ventricular catheter and implantation of the Codman-Hakim programmable valve shunt device were performed (11 cases). In these patients, delayed ETV and shunt removal were performed later (mean period of 16.3 months).
No medical or surgical complications occurred in any case. Follow up ranged from 6 to 84 months (mean 31.1 months; median 22 months). All patients became shunt independent and 13 became symptom free. Overall, the size of the ventricles returned to normal in five cases, became slightly dilated in nine, and moderately dilated in one.
Conclusions. Neurofiberscope-guided treatment of slit-ventricle syndrome involving shunt removal and ETV appears to be beneficial; all patients in this series were symptom free and shunt independent at the end of follow up.