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Pietro Spennato, Giuseppe Cinalli, Claudio Ruggiero, Ferdinando Aliberti, Vincenzo Trischitta, Emilio Cianciulli and Giuseppe Maggi

Object

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of data obtained in a series of 30 patients suffering from multiloculated hydrocephalus and treated endoscopically. The goal of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of neuroendoscopic treatment as an alternative to the placement of multiple shunts to relieve intracranial hypertension, to simplify the shunt system, and to reduce the high rate of shunt revision.

Methods

The endoscopic procedures included intraventricular septum fenestration, aqueductoplasty, Monro foram-inoplasty, and third ventriculostomy. The patients were divided into two groups: Group A included 23 children in whom a shunt was already in place at the time of endoscopy, and Group B included seven children in whom a shunt had never been placed.

The control of hydrocephalus by a single shunt placement or the absence of a shunt was achieved in 25 (83.3%) of 30 children. In Group A, five children no longer had shunts, 14 needed a single shunt, three required two shunts, and one required three shunts. The mean preendoscopy shunt revision rate in this group decreased from 2.07/year to 0.35/ year following the endoscopic procedure. Seven patients required endoscopic reoperations (endoscopic reoperation rate 0.31/year, total reoperation rate [shunt revisions plus endoscopic reoperation] 0.66/year). In Group B, three children did not require shunts, three needed a single shunt, and one required two shunts. Two patients required repeated endoscopic surgery (endoscopic reoperation rate 0.19/year), and two patients required shunt revisions (shunt revision rate 0.07/year) (total operation rate 0.26/year).

Conclusions

Neuroendoscopic procedures are a valid alternative to shunt revision in the management of multiloculated hydrocephalus. Early diagnosis comprising close monitoring with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and early treatment are the keys of success.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Pietro Spennato, Laura Columbano, Claudio Ruggiero, Ferdinando Aliberti, Vincenzo Trischitta, Maria Consiglio Buonocore and Emilio Cianciulli

Object

In this paper, the authors' goal was to evaluate the role of neuroendoscopy in the treatment of arachnoid cysts of the quadrigeminal cistern.

Methods

Between March 1995 and February 2008, 14 patients affected by arachnoid cysts of the quadrigeminal cistern were treated endoscopically. The cysts were classified according to their anatomical and radiological appearance. The most frequent form (Type I) extended infratentorially and supratentorially with a dumbbell shape. Type II cysts were confined to the infratentorial space and were associated with the most severe and acute form of hydrocephalus. Type III cysts presented a significant asymmetric expansion toward the temporal fossa. Ten patients underwent an endoscopic procedure as primary treatment and 4 as an alternative to shunt revision. In 6 cases, the first endoscopic procedure was ventriculocystostomy (VC) together with endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). In the other 8 cases, the first endoscopic procedure was VC alone.

Results

In the 6 cases in which VC was performed with an ETV, the procedure was successful, and the patients did not require further surgery. Of the 8 cases in which the first endoscopic procedure performed was VC without ETV, 7 underwent reoperation. Four of these patients underwent endoscopic procedures (by reopening the obstructed VC and performing ETV or cystocisternostomy) 2, 4, 4, and 5 months later with final success in all cases. Three patients (all of whom were previously treated using ventriculo- or cystoperitoneal shunts) required shunt reimplantation (complete failure). Subdural collection developed in 1 case, which was managed by transient insertion of a subduroperitoneal shunt. Neurological and developmental outcomes were good except for 1 patient who did not show improvement in preoperative developmental delay. No transient or permanent morbidity or mortality was observed.

Conclusions

The analysis of this series suggests that arachnoid cysts of the quadrigeminal cistern and the associated hydrocephalus can be effectively treated by endoscopy; this approach allows the patient to be shunt independent in more than 78% of the cases. If endoscopy is used as first option, the success rate of endoscopic procedures observed in this series was 90%. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy should be associated with a VC to offer the highest success rate with a single procedure.

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Pietro Spennato, Carmela Chiaramonte, Domenico Cicala, Vittoria Donofrio, Manlio Barbarisi, Anna Nastro, Giuseppe Mirone, Vincenzo Trischitta and Giuseppe Cinalli

OBJECTIVE

Intraventricular choroid plexus cysts are unusual causes of acute hydrocephalus in children. Radiological diagnosis of intraventricular choroid plexus cysts is difficult because they have very thin walls and fluid contents similar to CSF and can go undetected on routine CT studies.

METHODS

This study reports the authors' experience with 5 patients affected by intraventricular cysts originating from the choroid plexus. All patients experienced acute presentation with rapid neurological deterioration, sometimes associated with hypothalamic dysfunction, and required urgent surgery. In 2 cases the symptoms were intermittent, with spontaneous remission and sudden clinical deteriorations, reflecting an intermittent obstruction of the CSF pathway.

RESULTS

Radiological diagnosis was difficult in these cases because a nonenhanced CT scan revealed only triventricular hydrocephalus, with slight lateral ventricle asymmetry in all cases. MRI with driven-equilibrium sequences and CT ventriculography (in 1 case) allowed the authors to accurately diagnose the intraventricular cysts that typically occupied the posterior part of the third ventricle, occluding the aqueduct and at least 1 foramen of Monro. The patients were managed by urgent implantation of an external ventricular drain in 1 case (followed by endoscopic surgery, after completing a diagnostic workup) and by urgent endoscopic surgery in 4 cases. Endoscopic surgery allowed the shrinkage and near-complete removal of the cysts in all cases. Use of neuronavigation and a laser were indispensable. All procedures were uneventful, resulting in restoration of normal neurological conditions. Long-term follow-up (> 2 years) was available for 2 patients, and no complications or recurrences occurred.

CONCLUSIONS

This case series emphasizes the necessity of an accurate and precise identification of the possible causes of triventricular hydrocephalus. Endoscopic surgery can be considered the ideal treatment of choroid plexus cysts in children.