Vol 85, No 12 (2014)

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Fetal therapy – evaluation of ventriculo-amniotic shunts in the treatment of hydrocephalus

Krzysztof Szaflik, Marta Czaj, Lech Polis, Justyna Wojtera, Wojciech Szmański, Waldemar Krzeszowski, Bartosz Polis, Magdalena Litwińska, Wanda Mikołajczyk, Katarzyna Janiak, Iwona Maroszyńska, Ewa Gulczyńska
DOI: 10.17772/gp/1882
Ginekol Pol 2014;85(12).


Objective: The aim of the study was to establish optimal diagnostic and therapeutic scheme and to assess the efficacy of intrauterine therapy of hydrocephalus. Material and methods: The study was carried out between 1992-2012 on the total of 222 fetuses with hydrocephalus, using Orbis-Sigma and ACCU-Flow valves (168 cases) and Cook’s shunts, according to a strictly defined diagnostic and therapeutic scheme. Results: In the first stage of the study (between 1992-2001), a total of 168 fetuses with prenatally diagnosed hydrocephalus received intrauterine therapy. In 91.6% of the cases the therapy resulted in a decreased size of cerebral ventricles. The valve dislocated in 23 cases (13.6%). Preterm delivery occurred in 44% of the affected neonates. Severe mental impairment occurred in 17.76%, average in 36.8%, and slight in 32.9% of the infants. Normal mental development at the age of 3 was observed in 12.5% of the children. A total of 11.2% of children did not require further neurosurgical reatment. In the second stage of the study (between 2006-2012) after therapy, the size of the right lateral cerebral ventricle decreased by 54.76% (average of 27.54 mm to 12.46 mm) and the left lateral cerebral ventricle decreased by 53.12% (average of 26.41 mm to 12.38 mm ) (p=0.0018). The maximum and minimum width of the cerebral cortex increased by 23.06% and 27% (average of 9.04 mm to 11.75 mm vs. 3.65 mm to 5mm), respectively. Early complications were observed in 22% of the cases: PROM (6), intrauterine fetal death (4), intrauterine infection (1), and premature detachment of the placenta (1). Average gestational age at delivery was 34 weeks, and 24% of the patients delivered at term. Conclusions: • Implantation of ventriculo- amniotic shunts proved to be an effective form of therapy, resulting in normalization of intracranial pressure. • In both stages of therapy, reduction of ventricular size in patients with hydrocephalus and good neurological outcome (45.4% in I stage, 60% in II stage) were observed • In the second stage of therapy, the size of lateral brain ventricles after fetal therapy was significantly lower (54%). A total of 18% of the neonates did not require neurosurgical treatment.

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