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Between 2005 and 2010, we treated patients with hydrocephalus related to cerebral metastases, who were not good candidates for surgical resection by either endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) or ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VPS). Patients were excluded from ETV if they had a clinical history suggestive of non-obstructive hydrocephalus, including: (1) history of infection or ventricular hemorrhage and (2) leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. The rest of the patients were treated with VPS. We analyzed the clinical outcome of these patient cohorts, to determine whether the efficacy of VPS was compromised due to a history of infection, ventricular hemorrhage, or leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, and compared these results to those patients who underwent ETV. Sixteen patients were treated with ETV and 36 patients were treated with VPS. The overall efficacy of symptomatic palliation was comparable in the ETV and VPS patients (ETV = 69%, VPS = 75%). In both groups, patients with more severe hydrocephalic symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and lethargy were more likely to benefit from the procedure. The overall complication rate for the two groups was comparable (ETV = 12.6%, VPS = 19.4%), although the spectrum of complications differed. The overall survival, initial Karnofsky performance status (KPS), and three-month KPS, were similarly comparable (median survival: ETV 3 months, VPS 5.5 months; initial KPS: ETV = 66 ± 7, VPS = 69 ± 12; 3 months KPS: ETV = 86 ± 7, KPS = 84 ± 12). VPS remains a reasonable option for poor RPA grade metastasis patients with hydrocephalus, even in the setting of a previous infection, hemorrhage, or in those with leptomeningeal disease. Optimal treatment of this population will involve the judicious consideration of the relative merits of VPS and ETV.


David D Gonda, Teddy E Kim, Peter C Warnke, Ekkehard M Kasper, Bob S Carter, Clark C Chen. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting versus endoscopic third ventriculostomy in the treatment of patients with hydrocephalus related to metastasis. Surgical neurology international. 2012;3:97

PMID: 23061013

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