Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy in 250 Adults With Hydrocephalus: Patient Selection, Outcomes, and Complications

Neurosurgery. 2016 Jan;78(1):109-19. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000994.


Background: Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) has been used predominantly in the pediatric population in the past. Application in the adult population has been less extensive, even in large neurosurgical centers. To our knowledge, this report is one of the largest adult ETV series reported and has the consistency of being performed at 1 center.

Objective: To determine the efficacy, safety, and outcome of ETV in a large adult hydrocephalus patient series at a single neurosurgical center. In addition, to analyze patient selection criteria and clinical subgroups (including those with ventriculoperitoneal shunt [VPS] malfunction or obstruction and neurointensive care unit patients with extended ventricular drainage before ETV) to optimize surgical results in the future.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of adult ETV procedures performed at our center between 2000 and 2014.

Results: The overall rate of success (no further cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure performed plus clinical improvement) of 243 completed ETVs was 72.8%. Following is the number of procedures with the success rate in parentheses: aqueduct stenosis, 56 (91%); communicating hydrocephalus including normal pressure hydrocephalus, nonnormal pressure hydrocephalus, and remote head trauma, 57 (43.8%); communicating hydrocephalus in postoperative posterior fossa tumor without residual tumor, 14 (85.7%); communicating hydrocephalus in subarachnoid hemorrhage without intraventricular hemorrhage, 23 (69.6%); obstruction from tumor/cyst, 42 (85.7%); VPS obstruction (diagnosis unknown), 23 (65.2%); intraventricular hemorrhage, 20 (90%); and miscellaneous (obstructive), 8 (50%). There were 9 complications in 250 intended procedures (3.6%); 5 (2%) were serious.

Conclusion: Use of ETV in adult hydrocephalus has broad application with a low complication rate and reasonably good efficacy in selected patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnostic imaging
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendoscopy / adverse effects
  • Neuroendoscopy / methods
  • Neuroendoscopy / trends*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Postoperative Complications* / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Third Ventricle / diagnostic imaging
  • Third Ventricle / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventriculostomy / adverse effects
  • Ventriculostomy / methods
  • Ventriculostomy / trends*