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July 1984

Rapidly Progressive Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus: Treatment With External Ventricular Drainage

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Kreusser, Tarby, Taylor, Kovnar, Hill, Conry, and Volpe), Neurology (Dr Volpe) and Biological Chemistry (Dr Volpe), Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Dr Tarby is now with the Barrow Neurologic Institute, Phoenix; Dr Taylor is now in private practice in Richmond, Va; Dr Kovnar is now with Milwaukee Children's Hospital; Dr Hill is now with University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Dr Conry is now with Children's Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(7):633-637. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140450015005

• Nineteen premature infants with progressive posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus with increased intracranial pressure were treated with external ventricular drainage. Progression of hydrocephalus was arrested during the drainage period in each patient. Three of the 19 infants required no further therapy. Sixteen had recurrence of progressive ventricular dilatation, and all but one eventually had placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, although under more favorable medical conditions than existed at the time of institution of external ventricular drainage. Three of the 19 infants died of causes unrelated to the external ventricular drainage. Of the 16 survivors, seven infants had a developmental quotient or formal IQ of over 75. Outcome was poorest for those infants with accompanying intracerebral hemorrhage. We consider ventriculostomy to be an effective temporizing measure in small infants with rapidly progressive posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus with increased intracranial pressure in whom ventricular decompression is necessary and placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt is not feasible.

(AJDC 1984;138:633-637)