Influence of shunt type on ventricular volume changes in children with hydrocephalus

C Xenos, Spyridon Sgouros, K Natarajan, Anthony Walsh, Anthony Hockley

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25 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECT: The goal of this study was twofold: to investigate the change in ventricular volume in children with hydrocephalus in response to shunt placement and to assess the effects of two different valve types (Medium Pressure [MP] cylindrical valve and Delta [model 1.5] valve). METHODS: Ventricular volume was measured using segmentation techniques on computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance images obtained in 40 children with hydrocephalus who ranged in age from 4 days to 16 years. Imaging was performed preoperatively and at 5 days and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. The results were compared with measurements obtained in 71 healthy children ranging in age from 1 month to 15 years. Each ventricular volume that was measured was divided by the corresponding sex and age-related mean normal volume to calculate the "x normal" ventricular volume, indicating how many times larger than normal the ventricle was. The mean preoperative ventricular volume was 232 cm3 (range 50-992 cm3). The mean postoperative volumes were 147, 102, 68, and 61 cm3 at 5 days and at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment, respectively. The mean preoperative x normal ventricular volume was 14.5 (range 2.2-141.7), and the mean postoperative x normal volumes were 7.9, 5.6, 3.5, and 2.9 at 5 days and 3, 6, and 12 months postimplantation, respectively. The rate of volume reduction was consistently higher in patients who received the MP valve in comparison with those who received the Delta valve, both for new shunt insertions and for shunt revisions. The difference between the two valve groups did not reach statistical significance. Two patients in whom ventricular volumes increased during the study period experienced shunt obstruction at a later time. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative ventricular volume in children with hydrocephalus can be up to 14 times greater than normal. In response to shunt placement, the ventricular volume continues to fall during the first 6 months after operation. The effect is more profound in children who receive the MP valve than in those who receive the Delta valve, although in this study the authors did not demonstrate statistical significance in the difference between the two valves. Nevertheless, this may indicate that the MP valve produces overdrainage in comparison with the Delta valve, even within the first few months after insertion. There is some indication that sequential ventricular volume measurement may be used to identify impending shunt failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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