Posterior ventricular catheter burr-hole localizer. Technical Note

P. Charles Garell, Roman Mirsky, M. Daniel Noh, Christopher M. Loftus, Patrick W. Hitchon, M. Sean Grady, Ralph G. Dacey, Matthew A. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Proper ventricular catheter placements are associated with improved shunt performance. When placing ventricular catheters via the posterior approach, the surgeon must determine an optimum trajectory and then pass a catheter along that trajectory. The incidence of optimal posterior catheter placements is increased by using a posterior catheter guide (PCG); however, errors may still occur because of poor selection of a posterior burr-hole site. In this report an easy-to-use posterior burr-hole localizer (Localizer) is described that defines the optimum burr-hole location based on geometric relationships involving the ear and supraorbital rims. The basic design principle of the Localizer was formulated and tested by using neuronavigational imaging tools to examine normal adult ventricular anatomy in relation to surface landmarks and by reviewing imaging studies obtained in 50 adult patients with hydrocephalus. Subsequently, the Localizer was used in 28 consecutive patients scheduled to undergo shunt surgery performed by using the PCG. In all cases the catheter entered the ventricle on the first pass and postoperative imaging studies demonstrated successful placement in the ipsilateral anterior horn. There were no catheter-related complications. These early results indicate that the Localizer and PCG devices may be safe and effective when used in combination for placement of posterior ventricular catheters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-160
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Burr hole
  • Catheter
  • Guide
  • Neuronavigation
  • Shunt
  • Ventricle


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