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Anja Kutscher, Ulf Nestler, Matthias K. Bernhard, Andreas Merkenschlager, Ulrich Thome, Wieland Kiess, Stefan Schob, Juergen Meixensberger and Matthias Preuss


Congenital hydrocephalus has a major impact on the lives of patients and their relatives, as well as their long-term neurological development and social integration. The aim of this study was to assess the self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients after reaching adulthood.


A total of 31 patients who required CSF shunt treatment for congenital hydrocephalus within the 1st year of life (between 1963 and 1987) agreed to undergo a structured SF-36 self-assessment. An age-matched German standard cohort was used as control. Additional parameters of surgical, social, and global neurological outcome were analyzed. The mean patient age was 35 years (range 26–51 years, 13 females and 18 males). Hydrocephalus etiologies were posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (n = 9), postinfectious hydrocephalus (n = 5), aqueductal stenosis (n = 10), myelomeningocele (n = 2), and unknown cause (n = 5).


The mean modified Rankin Scale score was 1.6 (range 0–4). Hydrocephalic patients achieved lower scores for the SF-36 items physical functioning (70.5 vs 93.5, p < 0.05), physical role functioning (74.2 vs 88.3, p < 0.05), and general health perceptions (64.5 vs 72.3, p < 0.05). Emotional, social role functioning, and mental health items did not differ between the groups. Assessment of vitality and pain resulted in a trend to worse values. Whereas the Physical Component Summary score was lower (46.1 vs 54.3, p < 0.05), the Mental Component Summary score was not significantly different (50.2 vs 48.7, p = 0.3). There was neither a statistically significant difference between subgroups of different etiologies nor an association with the number of subsequent hydrocephalus-related surgeries.


Adult HRQOL for patients with congenital hydrocephalus appears to be similar to that for healthy con with regard to mental health and social functioning aspects. Physical impairment is a predominant factor of compro quality of life.

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Walter Stummer, Jörg-Christian Tonn, Hubertus Maximilian Mehdorn, Ulf Nestler, Kea Franz, Claudia Goetz, Andrea Bink and Uwe Pichlmeier


Accumulating data suggest more aggressive surgery in patients with malignant glioma to improve outcome. However, extended surgery may increase morbidity. The randomized Phase III 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) study investigated 5-ALA–induced fluorescence as a tool for improving resections. An interim analysis demonstrated more frequent complete resections with longer progression-free survival (PFS). However, marginal differences were found regarding neurological deterioration and the frequency of additional therapies. Presently, the authors focus on the latter aspects in the final study population, and attempt to determine how safety might be affected by cytoreductive surgery.


Patients with malignant gliomas were randomized for fluorescence-guided (ALA group) or conventional white light (WL) (WL group) microsurgery. The final intent-to-treat population consisted of 176 patients in the ALA and 173 in the WL group. Primary efficacy variables were contrast-enhancing tumor on early MR imaging and 6-month PFS. Among secondary outcome measures, the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIH-SS) score and the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score were used for assessing neurological function.


More frequent complete resections and improved PFS were confirmed, with higher median residual tumor volumes in the WL group (0.5 vs 0 cm3, p = 0.001). Patients in the ALA group had more frequent deterioration on the NIH-SS at 48 hours. Patients at risk were those with deficits unresponsive to steroids. No differences were found in the KPS score. Regarding outcome, a combined end point of risks and neurological deficits was attempted, which demonstrated results in patients in the ALA group to be superior to those in participants in the WL group. Interestingly, the cumulative incidence of repeat surgery was significantly reduced in ALA patients. When stratified by completeness of resection, patients with incomplete resections were quicker to deteriorate neurologically (p = 0.0036).


Extended resections performed using a tool such as 5-ALA–derived tumor fluorescence, carries the risk of temporary impairment of neurological function. However, risks are higher in patients with deficits unresponsive to steroids.

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Cynthia V. Mahr, Markus Dengl, Ulf Nestler, Martin Reiss-Zimmermann, Gerrit Eichner, Matthias Preuß and Jürgen Meixensberger


The aim of the study was to analyze the diagnostic and predictive values of clinical tests, CSF dynamics, and intracranial pulsatility tests, compared with external lumbar drainage (ELD), for shunt response in patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH).


Sixty-eight consecutive patients with suspected iNPH were prospectively evaluated. Preoperative assessment included clinical tests, overnight intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, lumbar infusion test (LIFT), and ELD for 24–72 hours. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to identify predictive parameters concerning the outcome after shunt therapy.


Positive response to ELD correctly predicted improvement after CSF diversion in 87.9% of the patients. A Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE) value below 21 was associated with nonresponse after shunt insertion (specificity 93%, sensitivity 67%). Resistance to outflow of CSF (ROut) > 12 mm Hg/ml/min was false negative in 21% of patients. Intracranial pulsatility parameters yielded different results in various parameters (correlation coefficient between pulse amplitude and ICP, slow wave amplitude, and mean ICP) but did not correlate to outcome. In multiple linear regression analysis, a calculation of presurgical MMSE versus the value after ELD, ROut, and ICP amplitude quotient during LIFT was significantly associated with outcome (p = 0.04).


Despite a multitude of invasive tests, presurgical clinical testing and response to ELD yielded the best prediction for improvement of symptoms following surgery. The complication rate of invasive testing was 5.4%. Multiple and simple linear regression analyses indicated that outcome can only be predicted by a combination of parameters, in accordance with a multifactorial pathogenesis of iNPH.