Factors predicting the need for cerebrospinal fluid diversion following posterior fossa tumor surgery in children

C.V. Gopalakrishnan, A. Dhakoji, G. Menon, S. Nair

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: No consensus exists regarding the management of hydrocephalus in children with posterior fossa tumors before, during or after surgery. In the present study we analyze the factors that predispose to persistent hydrocephalus and the need for a postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion procedure. Methods: Pediatric patients who underwent surgery for posterior fossa tumors with hydrocephalus at our hospital were reviewed to evaluate the need for a postoperative CSF diversion procedure. Patients having undergone CSF diversion preoperatively were excluded from the study group. The case records of 84 patients were reviewed. The factors evaluated included age at diagnosis, duration of symptoms, severity of preoperative hydrocephalus, tumor size, tumor location, tumor histology, extent of tumor resection and postoperative complications that could be related to CSF circulation disorders. Results: At the time of presentation, 80/84 (95.2%) patients had symptomatic hydrocephalus; 25/84 (29.8%) patients required a CSF diversion procedure in the postoperative period. Children presenting with symptom duration of less than 3 months had a significantly higher requirement for postoperative CSF diversion in comparison to those with longer symptomatology (p = 0.016). Evan's index and frontal and occipital horn ratio on preoperative imaging were found to correlate closely with the need for postoperative shunt (p = 0.001 and p <0.001, respectively). The requirement for shunt was statistically higher in patients with midline tumors in comparison to laterally placed lesions (p = 0.04) and in children with medulloblastoma (p <0.001) and ependymoma (p = 0.016) as the tumor subtypes. Children who underwent intraoperative external ventricular drainage (EVD) had a shunt insertion rate of 39.6% compared with 16.7% of those who did not have an EVD (p <0.001). Patients with meningitis and pseudomeningocele in the postoperative period had a statistically significant higher risk of shunt requirement (p = 0.008 and p = 0.016, respectively). The mean age at diagnosis and the extent of tumor resection did not correlate with the need for CSF diversion. Conclusion: The fact that less than one-third of patients require a CSF diversion after posterior fossa tumor resection refutes the role of prophylactic endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Awareness regarding the factors that can predict persistent postoperative hydrocephalus is essential for the surgeon during patient counseling and surgical planning, and also in deciding the intensity of postoperative clinical and radiological monitoring. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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