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Joachim Oertel, Stefan Linsler, Akos Csokonay, Henry W. S. Schroeder and Sebastian Senger

OBJECTIVE

The unexpected intraoperative intraventricular hemorrhage is a rare but feared and life-threatening complication in neuroendoscopic procedures because of loss of endoscopic vision. The authors present their experience with the so-called “dry field technique” (DFT) for the management of intraventricular hemorrhages during purely endoscopic procedures. This technique requires the aspiration of the entire intraventricular CSF to achieve clear visualization of the bleeding source.

METHODS

More than 500 neuroendoscopic intraventricular procedures were retrospectively analyzed over the last 24 years for documented severe hemorrhages, which were treated by the application of the DFT.

RESULTS

The technique was required in 6 cases, including tumor resection/biopsy, cyst resection, and intraventricular lavage. Additionally, the technique was applied as part of the planned strategy in 3 cases of endoscopic tumor removal. The hemorrhage was stopped in all cases and no associated postoperative deficits occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

Although severe hemorrhages are rare, the neurosurgeon needs to be aware of them and has to establish strategies for their management. Most hemorrhages can be stopped by constant irrigation and coagulation. In the other rare cases, the DFT is a safe, reliable technique and can be easily incorporated into endoscopic surgery.