Predictors of shunt insertion in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage-a single-centre retrospective analysis


BACKGROUND: No standard has been established regarding timing and choice of strategy for discontinuation of external ventricular drainage (EVD) in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH), and little is known about the importance of clinical variables. A proportion of the patients who initially pass their discontinuation attempt return with delayed hydrocephalus and the need of a permanent shunt. Early differentiation between patients who need a shunt and those who do not would facilitate care. We conducted a retrospective analysis on patients with aSAH and an EVD to search significant differences in treatment and clinical variables between patients who received a permanent shunt during initial hospitalization or after readmission, and those who never received a shunt.

METHODS: We included 183 patients with aSAH who received an EVD over a 4-year period between 2015 and 2018 and divided them into three groups: those who received a shunt during primary admission, those who were readmitted for delayed hydrocephalus and received a shunt, and those who never needed a shunt. Between these groups, we compared selected clinical variables as well as outcome at discharge and after 6 months. Additionally, we assessed the ability of a shunt dependency score (SDASH) to predict the need for permanent drainage in the patients.

RESULTS: Of 183 included patients, 108 (59%) ultimately received a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. Of these, 89 (82%) failed discontinuation during the primary admission and received a permanent shunt before discharge from the neurosurgical department. The remaining 19 (18%) were discharged after successful discontinuation, but subsequently developed delayed hydrocephalus and were admitted for shunt placement a median of 39 (range: 18-235) days after ictus. Ninety-four patients were discharged after successful discontinuation of the EVD, consisting of those who never developed the need for a permanent shunt and the 19 who were readmitted with delayed hydrocephalus, corresponding to a 20% (19/94) readmittance rate. Clinical variables such as drainage volume or discontinuation strategy did not differ across the three groups of patients. The SDASH score failed to provide any clinically useful information regarding prediction of shunt placement.

CONCLUSION: In this study, clinical variables including use of the predictive score SDASH predicted neither the overall need for nor the timing of shunt placement after aSAH. The homogeneous distribution of data between the three different groups renders strong independent clinical predictive factors unlikely. Thus, attempts to predict a permanent shunt requirement from these variables may be futile in these patients.

TidsskriftActa Neurochirurgica
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-8
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 19 jan. 2024


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