Surgical management of complex multiloculated hydrocephalus in infants and children

S. Hassan A. Akbari, Terrence F. Holekamp, T. Martin Murphy, Deanna Mercer, Jeffrey R. Leonard, Matthew D. Smyth, T. S. Park, David D. Limbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Multiloculated hydrocephalus may occur as a consequence of intraventricular hemorrhage or infection and is characterized by enlargement of multiple noncommunicating intraventricular and/or periventricular cysts. In this study, we report the outcomes of open and endoscopic fenestration for multiloculated hydrocephalus at our institution. Methods: Records of children who underwent endoscopic or open fenestration at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 1999 to 2011 were analyzed. The cause of MLH, operative parameters, length of hospital stay, and subsequent shunt intervention rate were recorded. Results: Twenty-five subjects were identified for study. Twelve subjects underwent open craniotomy and 13 underwent endoscopic fenestration. Endoscopic fenestration was associated with decreased blood loss, operative time, and length of stay (p = 0.003, 0.002, 0.02, respectively). Subjects undergoing craniotomy had an average of 5.1 ± 4.5 subsequent shunt-related interventions versus 3.1 ± 4.0 in the endoscopy group (p = 0.25). The craniotomy group’s median subsequent shunt revision rate was 0.74 interventions per year versus 0.50 interventions per year in the endoscopy group (p = 0.51). Fifty percent of subjects in the open fenestration group required additional fenestration surgery compared to 38.5 % in the endoscopic group (p = 0.70). Conclusion: Both open and endoscopic fenestration appeared effective at improving shunt management. The endoscopic technique may offer advantages in operative time, blood loss, and length of hospital stay. These data suggest that endoscopic fenestration may be used as the initial approach for treatment of multiloculated hydrocephalus, with craniotomy and open fenestration used for more severe or refractory cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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