Ventricular Volume Change as a Predictor of Shunt-Dependent Hydrocephalus in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

World Neurosurg. 2022 Jan:157:e57-e65. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2021.09.085. Epub 2021 Sep 25.


Background: Hydrocephalus is a common complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) that often requires acute placement of an external ventricular drain (EVD). The current systems available for determining which patients will require long-term cerebrospinal fluid diversion remain subjective. We investigated the ventricular volume change (ΔVV) after EVD clamping as an objective predictor of shunt dependence in patients with aSAH.

Methods: We performed a retrospective medical record review and image analysis of patients treated for aSAH at a single academic institution who had required EVD placement for acute hydrocephalus and had undergone 1 EVD weaning trial. Head computed tomography (CT) scans obtained before and after EVD clamping were analyzed using a custom semiautomated MATLAB program (MathWorks, Natick, Massachusetts, USA), which segments each CT scan into 5 tissue types using k-means clustering. Differences in the pre- and postclamp ventricular volumes were calculated.

Results: A total of 34 patients with an indwelling shunt met the inclusion criteria and were sex- and age-matched to 34 controls without a shunt. The mean ΔVV was 19.8 mL in the shunt patients and 3.8 mL in the nonshunt patients (P < 0.0001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.84. The optimal ΔVV threshold was 11.4 mL, with a sensitivity of 76.5% and specificity of 88.2% for predicting shunt dependence. The mean ΔVV was significantly greater for the patients readmitted for shunt placement compared with the patients not requiring cerebrospinal fluid diversion (18.69 mL vs. 3.84 mL; P = 0.005). Finally, 70% of the patients with delayed shunt dependence had ΔVV greater than the identified threshold.

Conclusions: The ΔVV volume between head CT scans taken before and after EVD clamping was predictive of early and delayed shunt dependence.

Keywords: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage; Hydrocephalus; Shunt; Ventricular volume.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebral Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / surgery
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / trends*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / surgery