Implantation of Ommaya reservoir in extremely low weight premature infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus: a cautious option

Childs Nerv Syst. 2012 Oct;28(10):1687-91. doi: 10.1007/s00381-012-1847-0. Epub 2012 Jul 1.


Objective: This study aims to evaluate effects and complications of the implantation of Ommaya reservoir in premature infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH).

Methods: The effects and complications of the implantation of Ommaya reservoir in seven premature infants with PHH were retrospectively analyzed. Intracapsular puncture of the reservoir was performed for draining cerebrospinal fluid.

Results: Seven extremely low-weight premature infants with PHH (birthweight less than 1,000 g) were treated with the placement of an Ommaya reservoir. Ommaya reservoirs in five infants were removed, but were retained in two infants. Two premature infants had to undergo ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. Postsurgical major complications (including skin dehiscence, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infection, ventricular hemorrhage, and CSF leak) occurred in 57% of all patients. Three infants of skin dehiscence and CSF leak occurred. Two infants of CSF infection occurred, as well as one clinically significant secondary hemorrhage. Six infants survived, and one died.

Conclusion: The implantation of Ommaya reservoir is a cautious option of treating low-weight premature infants with PHH because of a relatively high complication rate. However, VP shunt surgery may be avoided in some infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology*
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery*
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Extremely Premature*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt / adverse effects*
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt / instrumentation*