Hydrocephalus is a common sequelae of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and patients who develop hydrocephalus after SAH typically have a worse prognosis than those who do not. This study was designed to identify factors predictive of shunt-dependent chronic hydrocephalus among patients with aneurysmal SAH, and patients who require permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion.
Seven-hundred-and-thirty-four patients with aneurysmal SAH who were treated surgically between 1990 and 2006 were retrospectively studied. Three stages of hydrocephalus have been categorized in this paper, i.e., acute (0-3 days after SAH), subacute (4-13 days after SAH), chronic (≥14 days after SAH). Criteria indicating the occurrence of hydrocephalus were the presence of significantly enlarged temporal horns or ratio of frontal horn to maximal biparietal diameter more than 30% in computerized tomography.
Overall, 66 of the 734 patients (8.9%) underwent shunting procedures for the treatment of chronic hydrocephalus. Statistically significant associations among the following factors and shunt-dependent chronic hydrocephalus were observed. (1) Increased age (p < 0.05), (2) poor Hunt and Hess grade at admission (p < 0.05), (3) intraventricular hemorrhage (p < 0.05), (4) Fisher grade III, IV at admission (p < 0.05), (5) radiological hydrocephalus at admission (p < 0.05), and (6) post surgery meningitis (p < 0.05) did affect development of chronic hydrocephalus. However the presence of intracerebral hemorrhage, multiple aneurysms, vasospasm, and gender did not influence on the development of shunt-dependent chronic hydrocephalus. In addition, the location of the ruptured aneurysms in posterior cerebral circulation did not correlate with the development of shunt-dependent chronic hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus after aneurysmal SAH seems to have a multifactorial etiology. Understanding predisposing factors related to the shunt-dependent chronic hydrocephalus may help to guide neurosurgeons for better treatment outcomes.