Endoscopic treatment of loculated hydrocephalus

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Mayfield Neurological Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio
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✓ Loculated hydrocephalus remains a difficult neurosurgical problem and endoscopes designed to navigate through the ventricular system provide a new option for treatment. The authors review their experience, during the period March 1990 to June 1993, using a steerable fiberscope in 34 cases of loculated hydrocephalus to evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic cyst fenestration. The goals of treatment were to control hydrocephalus, simplify preexisting shunt systems, and reduce operative morbidity. Endoscopic cyst fenestrations reduced the shunt revision rate from 3.04 per year prior to endoscopy to 0.25 per year after the procedure, during a follow-up period ranging from 8 to 45 months, mean 26 months. However, eight patients (23.5%) required 14 repeat operations to control loculated hydrocephalus. After endoscopy, patients with multiloculated hydrocephalus had a nearly fivefold increased risk (relative risk 4.85) for shunt malfunction and more than a twofold increased risk (relative risk 2.43) for cyst recurrence versus patients with uniloculated hydrocephalus. Similarly, six (50%) of 12 patients shunted prior to endoscopy required a repeat endoscopic procedure (relative risk 5.56). Although repeat endoscopic procedures may be required to control hydrocephalus, endoscopic cyst fenestration avoided placement of a shunt in seven (33%) of 21 patients with uniloculated hydrocephalus. One patient, encountered early in the authors' experience, required a craniotomy for fenestration of multiple ventricular cysts. Endoscopic complications included cerebrospinal fluid leakage in one case and ventriculitis in another. The authors conclude that endoscopic treatment of loculated hydrocephalus is a safe, minimally invasive technique that should be considered as the initial treatment option.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Adam I. Lewis, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, P.O. Box 670515, 231 Bethesda Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267–0515.
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