Endoscopic third ventriculostomy

Neurosurgery. 1990 Jan;26(1):86-91; discussion 91-2. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199001000-00012.


Long-term extracranial shunting for hydrocephalus has numerous drawbacks related to shunt malfunction and infection. In some cases outcome has been very disappointing. We successfully managed 5 patients with acquired aqueductal stenoses with no significant morbidity by the use of an intracranial cerebrospinal fluid diversion, namely a third ventriculostomy. First advocated by Dandy, ventriculostomy was largely passed over in favor of extracranial procedures. With improved surgical techniques, however, ventriculostomy is now considered to be a viable alternative in selected cases. In a further 19 patients, we subsequently broadened our patient selection to include those with Arnold-Chiari malformations, congenital noncommunicating hydrocephalus, and tumors. Two thirds of these children remain without shunts and apart from 1 child developing hemiplegia postoperatively, there has been no significant morbidity. Although the best results have been seen in the late onset groups, even early onset, noncommunicating hydrocephalus has been successfully managed. Even in patients in whom third ventriculostomy has failed and who have subsequently required ventriculoperitoneal shunts, we anticipate that they will remain less dependent on shunts because their hydrocephalus is now communicating, which tends not to have such a rapid onset or extreme levels of raised intracranial pressure.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Aqueduct
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constriction, Pathologic / surgery
  • Endoscopy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery*
  • Infant
  • Ventriculostomy*