Vol 51, No 1 (2017)

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Different origins of hydrocephalus lead to different shunt revision rates

Stefanie Kaestner1, Manuela Poetschke2, Christian Roth3, Wolfgang Deinsberger1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2016.11.007
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(1):72-76.



Hydrocephalus (HC) occurs due to multiple origins. Time course and dynamic of HC and its therapies differ between underlying pathologies. Different revision rates due to the type of HC are expected. Though hydrocephalus is known to be a life time condition, the lack of shunt malfunction years or decades after initial shunt insertion raises the hope of a superfluous shunt.


We conducted a retrospective survey of our OR-database during a 10 year period. All newly inserted shunt systems and subsequent shunt revisions are recorded according to quantity and time point. All patients were subdivided according their aetiology of HC.


260 patients were eligible with a follow-up of 4.5 years. Subgroups were: 90 patients with NPH, 76 patients with posthaemorrhagic and 16 patients had posttraumatic HC. 22 received a shunt as a consequence of a tumour, 41 were children and 15 for other causes. Overall revision rate was 39.5%. During the first 6 months 55.6%, 57.9% and 75% of patients with NPH, posthaemorrhagic and posttraumatic HC had revisions. In contrast only 38.1% of children and 20% of tumour cases required early revision.


Two different patterns of revision are evident: mainly early revisions in morphologically stable diseases such as posthaemorrhagic, posttraumatic and NPH and predominantly late revisions in changing organisms such as children and tumour patients. The conception HC may be transient because of a lack of late revisions cannot be supported by this data.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska