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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2005 September;49(3):97-106

language: English

Neuroendoscopic management of hydrocephalus secondary to midline and pineal lesions

Cipri S. 1, Gangemi A. 2, Cafarelli F. 2, Messina G. 3, Iacopino P. 3, Al Sayyad S. 4, Capua A. 4, Comi M. 5, Musitano A. 5

1 Operative Unit of Neurosurgery Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospitals, Reggio Calabria, Italy
2 Service of Neuroradiology Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospitals, Reggio Calabria, Italy
3 Operative Unit of Hematology Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospitals, Reggio Calabria, Italy
4 Operative Unit of Radiation Oncology Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospitals, Reggio Calabria, Italy
5 Operative Unit of Anesthesiology Bianchi-Melacrino-Morelli Hospitals, Reggio Calabria, Italy


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Aim. In patients with space-occupying lesions of the pineal region, increased intracranial pressure is due to direct compression of the sylvian aqueduct. Based on results of the recent literature, neuroendoscopic management of obstructive hydrocephalus, secondary to tumors of the pineal gland, has gained a preeminent role respect to shunting procedures.
Methods. In 14 select cases, hydrocephalus was secondary to midline and pineal lesions. The patient’s age ranged from 1 to 56 years (mean 47.3±12.5), with a follow-up ranged from 3 months to 5 years after discharge. In 9 cases the endoscopic procedure represented the only surgical treatment. In 5 cases, microsurgical removal of the lesions and/or ventriculo-peritoneal shunts placement were performed, as additional treatment, while adjuvant radiotherapy was utilized in 4 cases; high dose chemotherapy followed by bone marrow transplantation was performed in 3 cases.
Results. In our series, obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to midline and pineal lesions, was successful treated by neuroendoscopic approach alone in 9 cases, with an unremarkable course and good outcome, except in 1 case.
Conclusion. Neuroendoscopic approach affords a minimally invasive way to obtain 4 objectives by one-step surgical approach, such as resolution of obstructive hydrocephalus by endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), cerebrospinal fluid sample to detect tumor markers and to perform cytological analysis, biopsy specimens and tissue diagnosis, associated to absence of shunt-related complications. Therefore, in experienced hands, ETV should be the treatment of first choice, in cases of hydrocephalus secondary to lesions of the pineal gland.

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