Stereotactic ventriculoperitoneal shunting for refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Neurosurgery. 2007 Jun;60(6):1039-43; discussion 1043-4. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000255456.12978.31.


Objective: Recent reports have shown promising short- to medium-term results in patients with refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) treated using the stereotactic ventriculoperitoneal shunting (SVPS) technique. However, the long-term clinical efficacy of this technique remains questionable. This report provides the long-term results of SVPS in treating refractory IIH patients.

Methods: We reviewed the medical charts of nine consecutive patients (mean age, 26.4 yr; range, 4-63 yr) treated using either a frame-based or frameless SVPS technique for IIH.

Results: The mean postoperative follow-up period was 44.3 months (range, 6-110 mo). Before shunting procedures were performed, each patient presented with intractable headache, and five patients (55.6%) had mild to moderate visual deficits. The last follow-up assessment showed that after shunting was performed, eight patients (89%) were headache-free. Only one patient had recurrent headache; however, this patient's pain was much less frequent and severe than before the shunting procedure was completed and was concomitant with recent weight increase. Visual deficits were resolved in three patients and remained stable in two who already had optic nerve atrophy before shunting was completed. Twelve SVPS procedures were performed on our patients. Nine shunt revisions were needed in six patients because of infection (n = 5, including two revisions in one patient), valve dysfunction (n = 2), distal obstruction (n = 1), and ventricular catheter malpositioning (n = 1). No patient had proximal catheter obstruction.

Conclusion: Given the favorable long-term outcome of the SVPS technique for refractory IIH, we are encouraged to apply this procedure on our patients. More invasive approaches should be reserved for patients who have SVPS failure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / therapy*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt*