The Use of Electromagnetic Navigation in Surgeries for Hydrocephalus and Arachnoid Cysts in Children under One Year of Age

Authors: P. Vacek;  D. Štěpánek;  V. Přibáň
Authors‘ workplace: Neurochirurgické oddělení, LF UK a FN Plzeň
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2014; 77/110(6): 741-746
Category: Short Communication

Podpořeno MZ ČR- RVO (Fakultní nemocnice Plzeň –  PNPI, 00669806).


Surgery for hydrocephalus and arachnoid cysts in small children is still burdened with a high complication rate. Our five-years of experience with the electromagnetic navigation used in surgeries on children under one year of age, is to be presented in the form of a retrospective study.

Material and method:
We were using the electromagnetic navigation in surgeries for hydrocephalus and arachnoid cysts in 30 consecutive children with an average age of 15.3 weeks (one week– 11 months) in our department from January 2009 till December 2013. We performed 19 ventriculoperitoneal shunts, one ventriculoatrial, four endoscopic third ventriculostomies, two cavum septi pellucidi stomies, two arachnoid cyst endoscopic fenestrations and two combined procedures –  endoscopic fenestrations and a shunt surgery in one session.

We always inserted the ventricular catheter into the desired place on the first attempt in our group of patients. We didn’t detect any technical problem which would have led to an inappropriate navigational deviation and, therefore made the next navigation impossible. All patients had a checkup after surgery (by ultrasound through an anterior fontanel or magnetic resonance imaging). A ventricular catheter malfunction (always blocked by choroid plexus) was detected in four patients (18.2%), a shunt infection appeared in one patient (4.5%). A one year “shunt survival rate” appears in 58.8% of our patients. We had to re-operate on two patients after the endoscopic surgery (20%) due to stoma failure and on one patient for liquorrhea.

Electromagnetic navigation has enabled us to perform shunt and endoscopic surgeries for hydrocephalus and arachnoid cyst in very young children with the same accuracy as in adult patients, without the necessity of head clamping.

Key words:
hydrocephalus – arachnoid cyst – surgical treatment – electromagnetic navigation –endoscope

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manuscript met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

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