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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2012;48(1):13-20. doi: 10.1159/000337876. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Ventricular access devices are safe and effective in the treatment of posthemorrhagic ventricular dilatation prior to shunt placement.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. 94305-5327, USA.


Intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity (IVH) is a diagnosis that has become more frequent in recent years. Advances in medical care have led to survival of increasingly premature infants, as well as infants with more complex medical conditions. Treatment with a ventricular access device (VAD) was reported almost 3 decades ago; however, it is unclear how effective this treatment is in the current population of premature infants. At our institution (from 2004 to present), we treat posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) with a VAD. In order to look at safety and efficacy, we retrospectively combed the medical records of premature children, admitted to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital from January 2005 to December 2009, and identified 310 premature children with IVH. Of these, 28 children required treatment for PHH with a VAD. There were no infections associated with placement of these devices and a very low rate of other complications, such as need for repositioning (7.41%) or replacement (3.75%). Our data show that treatment with a VAD is very safe, with few complications and can be used to treat PHH in this very complex infant population.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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