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A multicenter retrospective comparison of conversion from temporary to permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion in very low birth weight infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus.

Wellons JC, Shannon CN, Kulkarni AV, Simon TD, Riva-Cambrin J, Whitehead WE, Oakes WJ, Drake JM, Luerssen TG, Walker ML, Kestle JR, Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network
J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2009 4 (1): 50-5

PMID: 19569911 · PMCID: PMC2895163 · DOI:10.3171/2009.2.PEDS08400

OBJECT - The purpose of this study was to define the incidence of permanent shunt placement and infection in patients who have undergone the 2 most commonly performed temporizing procedures for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) of prematurity: ventriculosubgaleal (VSG) shunt placement and ventricular reservoir placement for intermittent tapping.

METHODS - The 4 centers of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network participated in a retrospective chart review of infants with PHH who underwent treatment at each institution between 2001 and 2006. Patients were included if they had received a diagnosis of Grade 3 or 4 intraventricular hemorrhage, weighed < 1500 g at birth, and had received surgical intervention. The authors determined the incidence of conversion from a temporizing device to a permanent shunt, the incidence of CSF infection during temporization, and the 6-month CSF infection rate after permanent shunt placement.

RESULTS - Thirty-one (86%) of 36 patients who received VSG shunts and 61 (69%) of 88 patients who received ventricular reservoirs received permanent CSF diversion with a shunt (p = 0.05). Five patients (14%) in the VSG shunt group had CSF infections during temporization, compared with 11 patients (13%) in the ventricular reservoir group (p = 0.83). The 6-month incidence of permanent shunt infection in the VSG shunt group was 16% (5 of 31), compared with 12% (7 of 61) in the reservoir placement group (p = 0.65). For the first 6 months after permanent shunt placement, infants with no preceding temporizing procedure had an infection rate of 5% (1 of 20 infants) and those who had undergone a temporizing procedure had an infection rate of 13% (12 of 92; p = 0.45).

CONCLUSIONS - The use of intermittent tapping of ventricular reservoirs in this population appears to lead to a lower incidence of permanent shunt placement than the use of VSG shunts. The incidence of infection during temporization and for the initial 6 months after conversion appears comparable for both groups. The apparent difference identified in this pilot study requires confirmation in a more rigorous study.

MeSH Terms (13)

Cerebral Hemorrhage Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts Female Humans Hydrocephalus Infant Infant, Newborn Infant, Very Low Birth Weight Male Retrospective Studies Risk Factors Time Factors Treatment Outcome

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