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The initial neurosurgical interventions for the treatment of posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus in preterm infants: a focused review

Zaben, Malik J. A., Finnigan, Amy, Bhatti, Muhammed I and Leach, Paul 2015. The initial neurosurgical interventions for the treatment of posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus in preterm infants: a focused review. British Journal of Neurosurgery 30 (1) , pp. 7-10. 10.3109/02688697.2015.1096911

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Background: Post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH), a potential consequence of grade II–IV germinal matrix haemorrhage, remains a significant problem in premature infants with long-term neurodevelopmental disabilities and high mortality rates. Early ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) insertion is associated with a high failure rate and many complications; hence, temporising measures are always instituted until the infant is mature (age and/or weight) enough. Methods: We have reviewed the recently available literature on the usefulness and complications of the initial measures used in the treatment of PHH; particularly, focusing on serial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tapping, external ventricular drainage (EVD), ventriculosubgaleal shunts (VSG), ventricular access devices (VADs), endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with and without coagulation of the choroid plexus. Results: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have failed to demonstrate a significant effect of serial lumbar punctures on the rates of morbidity, mortality or conversion to permanent VPS in the treatment of PHH. Retrospective studies, mostly with small patients’ numbers, provide not only a considerable controversy regarding EVD, VSG, VADs and ETV usefulness in the management of PHH but also variable rates on their complications. None of these variables have, however, been tested using RCTs. Conclusion: There is no level-one evidence to support the superiority of any of the currently available temporising measures in the initial treatment of PHH over others. The need for such rigorous studies remains largely unmet. We feel that a UK multi-centre-RCT is paramount to provide neurosurgeons with the evidence needed to choose the best initial approach for PPH treatment, yet with minimal complications’ rate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Uncontrolled Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid drainage, hydrocephalus, intraventricular haemorrhage, ventriculoperitoneal shunt
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 0268-8697
Date of Acceptance: 14 September 2015
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 04:47

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