Incidence of surgically treated post-traumatic hydrocephalus 6 months following head injury in patients undergoing acute head computed tomography

Aaro Heinonen, Minna Rauhala, Harri Isokuortti, Anneli Kataja, Milaja Nikula, Juha Öhman, Grant L. Iverson, Teemu Luoto

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    Abstract

    Background: Post-traumatic hydrocephalus (PTH) is a well-known complication of head injury. The percentage of patients experiencing PTH in trauma cohorts (0.7–51.4%) varies greatly in the prior literature depending on the study population and applied diagnostic criteria. The objective was to determine the incidence of surgically treated PTH in a consecutive series of patients undergoing acute head computed tomography (CT) following injury. Methods: All patients (N = 2908) with head injuries who underwent head CT and were treated at the Tampere University Hospital’s Emergency Department (August 2010–July 2012) were retrospectively evaluated from patient medical records. This study focused on adults (18 years or older) who were residents of the Pirkanmaa region at the time of injury and were clinically evaluated and scanned with head CT at the Tampere University Hospital’s emergency department within 48 h after injury (n = 1941). A thorough review of records for neurological signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus was conducted for all patients having a radiological suspicion of hydrocephalus. The diagnosis of PTH was based on clinical and radiological signs of the condition within 6 months following injury. The main outcome was surgical treatment for PTH. Clinical evidence of shunt responsiveness was required to confirm the diagnosis of PTH. Results: The incidence of surgically treated PTH was 0.15% (n = 3). Incidence was 0.08% among patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 1.1% among those with moderate to severe TBI. All the patients who developed PTH underwent neurosurgery during the initial hospitalization due to the head injury. The incidence of PTH among patients who underwent neurosurgery for acute traumatic intracranial lesions was 2.7%. Conclusion: The overall incidence of surgically treated PTH was extremely low (0.15%) in our cohort. Analyses of risk factors and the evaluation of temporal profiles could not be undertaken due to the extremely small number of cases.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Neurochirurgica
    Volume164
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • Neurosurgery
    • Post-traumatic hydrocephalus
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Clinical Neurology

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