Objective: Hydrocephalus is a common presenting symptom of pediatric posterior fossa tumors and often requires permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion even after resection. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is a well-established treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus in children. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that ETV prior to posterior fossa tumor resection decreases the rate of postoperative ventriculoperitonal shunt (VPS) placement.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients who presented with hydrocephalus and underwent posterior fossa tumor resection between 2005 and 2016 excluding pineal and tectal tumors. The rate of postoperative VPS placement was compared in patients who underwent resection and had a VPS placed perioperatively (historical controls) with patients who underwent ETV prior to resection. The two groups were matched for demographics, tumor histology, and tumor location. We also performed a literature review of prior studies that examined the role of ETV in pediatric posterior fossa tumors.
Results: Thirty-six patients in the control group were compared to 38 patients in our study. The patients were matched across all variables (age, gender, tumor histology, and tumor locations). The rate of postoperative VPS placement was 31% in the control group compared to 16% in the ETV group. No complications were encountered during ETV.
Conclusions: Endoscopic third ventriculostomy prior to posterior fossa tumor resection in children appears to decrease the rate of postoperative VPS placement. Given its efficacy and safety, ETV should be considered prior to tumor resection in these patients.
Keywords: Endoscopic third ventriculostomy; Pediatrics; Posterior fossa tumor; Ventriculoperitoneal shunt.