A good choice for the patients with prior failed ventriculoperitoneal shunt treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts: endoscopic fenestration


To investigate the effectiveness of endoscopic fenestration in the patients with prior failed ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts (SACs). Between 2012 and 2018, four pediatric patients of SACs with previous failed VP shunt treatment were surgically treated using endoscopic ventriculocystocisternostomy (VCC) in our hospital. The clinical symptoms, imaging data, and surgical outcomes were collected and analyzed retrospectively. A literature review is provided with regard to the reasons of shunt failure and surgical outcome of further endoscopic fenestration in the previously reported patients of SACs with prior failed VP shunt. For the 4 cases, the initial clinical symptoms relieved or even disappeared after shunt placement, but, respectively, recurred 2, 6, 11, and 6 months later. MR scans were conducted when the clinical symptoms reappeared and showed a cyst had greatly enlarged after shunt placement. Furthermore, VP shunt-related slit ventricle was also demonstrated in 3 cases. Clinical improvement and cysts shrinkage occurred in all 4 patients after VCC. Slit ventricle and hydrocephalus were also resolved. Three patients had their shunt apparatus removed after VCC, and another patient’s guardian refused to remove the shunt apparatus. Subdural hematoma occurred in one case after shunt apparatus removal. Four patients have been stable during follow-up period (mean follow-up 26.5 months). All the three patients whose VP shunt were removed were shunt independence. There were 24 patients who underwent endoscopic fenestration as an alternative to the failed VP shunt treatment in the published reports. Added our 4 patients to the published group, the effective rate of endoscopic fenestration for SACs following previous failed VP shunt treatment was approximately 93% (26/28). Of the 24 patients, the shunt apparatuses were in situ or reimplantation in 9 patients due to shunt dependence. The correction to recognize the SAC is the first condition to select the optimal management philosophy. The analysis of the series suggests endoscopic operation is still an effective and safe option in the SAC patients with previous failed VP shunt, and the shunt apparatus can be removed for some patients. The short interval time between shunt operation and endoscopic fenestration is conductive to return patients to the shunt-free state.

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Correspondence to Song-Bai Gui.

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The present study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Beijing Tiantan Hospital affiliated to Capital Medical University (Beijing, China).

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Ma, G., Li, C., Zhang, Y. et al. A good choice for the patients with prior failed ventriculoperitoneal shunt treatment of suprasellar arachnoid cysts: endoscopic fenestration. Neurosurg Rev 43, 1373–1381 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10143-019-01152-x

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  • Suprasellar arachnoid cysts
  • Ventriculocystocisternostomy
  • Endoscopic fenestration
  • Shunt failure