Lack of functionality and need for revision of an Ommaya reservoir placed into a cavum septum pellucidum

Case report

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Ommaya reservoirs are routinely placed for the administration of intrathecal chemotherapy or antibiotics. There is scant literature that addresses the functionality of an Ommaya catheter placed exclusively within a cavum septum pellucidum (CSP). In this case, the authors placed an Ommaya reservoir in a 30-year-old man with Burkitt lymphoma in the CNS for intrathecal chemotherapy. The catheter tip was placed within a large CSP. The authors demonstrated failure of the system by injecting contrast agent into the reservoir and obtaining immediate and delayed CT scans that failed to demonstrate contrast dissemination into the ventricular system. An Ommaya reservoir placed exclusively within a CSP is potentially not functional, and can be dangerous if used for intrathecal drug therapy.

Abbreviations used in this paper:CSP = cavum septum pellucidum; CV = cavum vergae; EVD = external ventricular drain.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Justin R. Mascitelli, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Annenberg Building 8, Box 1136, New York, New York 10029. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online November 2, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.10.JNS12818.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



  • View in gallery

    Preoperative axial CT head scan (left) revealing a large CSP. Postoperative axial CT head scan (right) showing placement of a ventricular catheter within the CSP.

  • View in gallery

    Serial axial CT head scans obtained after injection of contrast at 0 (A), 18 (B), and 54 (C) hours.

  • View in gallery

    Postrevision axial CT head scan showing the ventricular catheter within the right lateral ventricle.





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