The role of Ommaya reservoir and endoscopic third ventriculostomy in the management of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematurity
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The aim of this study is to retrospectively evaluate a series of consecutive patients affected by post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus in prematurity, treated with an implant of an Ommaya reservoir followed by ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunt and/or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these treatment options in the management of the condition.
Between 2002 and 2005, 18 consecutive premature patients affected by intra-ventricular haemorrhage (IVH) grades II to IV, presenting with progressive ventricular dilatation, were operated for implant of an intra-ventricular catheter connected to a sub-cutaneous Ommaya reservoir. Cerebrospinal fluid was intermittently aspirated percutaneously by the reservoir according with the clinical requirements and the echographic follow-up. The patients who presented a progression of the ventricular dilatation were finally operated for VP shunt implant or ETV according with the MRI findings.
One patient had grade II, 5 had grade III, and 12 had grade IV IVH. The mean age at IVH diagnosis was 5.2 days; the mean age at reservoir implant was 17.3 days. The Ommaya reservoir was punctured on an average basis of 11.4 times per patient (range 2–25), and the mean interval between aspirations was 2.7 days. The mean CSF volume per tap was 20 ml. One patient died for pulmonary complications during the study period. Out of the 17 survivors, 3 did not develop progressive ventricular dilatation, and their reservoir was removed; 14 developed progressive hydrocephalus, 5 of whom were implanted with a VP shunt and 9 received an ETV. Amongst the five shunted patients, two were re-admitted for shunt malfunction and had their shunt removed after ETV after 6.1 and 20.5 months, respectively. Amongst the nine patients who received an ETV, five had to be re-operated for VP shunt implant at an average interval of 2.17 months (range 9–172 days) because of increasing ventricular dilatation. Two of them had a redo third ventriculostomy with shunt removal at 11 and 25.1 months, respectively, after insertion. The first was reimplanted with a VP shunt 4 days later; the second remains shunt free. Therefore, at the end of the follow-up period, 10 out of 17 children affected by post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus in prematurity were shunt free (59%).
The combination of Ommaya reservoir, VP shunt, and the aggressive use of ETV as a primary treatment or as an alternative to shunt revision allowed for a significant reduction of shunt dependency in a traditionally shunt-dependent population. Further studies are warranted to optimise the algorithm of treatment in these patients.
KeywordsPost-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus Premature Ommaya reservoir Ventricular access device Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
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