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Neurosurgery. 2010 Mar;66(3):459-64; discussion 464. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000365264.99133.CA.

Endoscopic choroid plexus cauterization versus ventriculoperitoneal shunt for hydranencephaly and near hydranencephaly: a prospective study.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Hospital das Clínicas, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.



To prospectively evaluate the results of endoscopic choroid plexus cauterization (ECPC) and ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPSs) in infants with hydranencephaly or near hydranencephaly.


We prospectively collected clinical data from all untreated hydranencephalic and near hydranencephalic children from October 2006 to March 2008. All patients treated were randomly divided into 2 groups, ECPC or VPS, and submitted to either endoscopic choroid plexus cauterization or ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement.


Seventeen patients were entered into the study. ECPC was completed in 9 patients; the procedure successfully controlled excessive head circumference and signs of increased intracranial pressure in 8 of these patients (88.8%). One endoscopic procedure in a hydranencephalic child failed after 7 months, resulting in VPS placement. Thus, of the 10 patients randomized to ECPC, 8 were treated successfully by ECPC (80%), and 2 went on to have a VPS. There were no complications related to this method of treatment. Seven children were randomized to the VPS group; and of these, 2 patients (28.5%) required shunt revisions during follow-up. There were no complications related to shunt placement. There was no difference in the success rate between patients randomized to ECPC and VPS, but the ECPC was more economical.


ECPC is an acceptable alternative to VPS for treatment of hydranencephaly and near hydranencephaly. It is a single, definitive, safe, effective, and economical treatment that may avoid the complications of shunting.

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