In this study, the HCRN conducted the first North American multi-center assessment of the outcome of a new procedure for hydrocephalus: ETV-CPC (endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization). ETV alone has been used for over 20 years to treat some types of hydrocephalus, but the results in infants have been disappointing with a high failure rate. More recently, based on work in Uganda by Dr. Ben Warf, the addition of CPC to ETV resulted in a higher than expected success rate in infants. ETV-CPC, therefore, is generating a lot of interest for its potential to treat infant hydrocephalus in North America. With our latest study, we showed that the procedure can be performed safely by our HCRN surgeons. The failure rate appeared to be slightly higher than shunt, overall, but we also discovered that there was a learning curve to this procedure: the cases we performed more recently seemed to have a higher success rate. Based on this study, a number of HCRN surgeons have gone to Uganda to receive formal training in ETV-CPC. We are now starting a prospective study to examine, in even more detail, the outcomes and complications of this exciting new procedure. While ETV-CPC holds a lot of promise, it is imperative that it be studied carefully to identify its optimal role in hydrocephalus treatment. The HCRN is committed to caring this out in our usual systematic, scientific manner.
The article has been offered in full in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics in September 2014.