Objective: Persistent hydrocephalus following posterior fossa brain tumor (PFBT) resection is a common cause of morbidity in pediatric brain tumor patients, for which the optimal treatment is debated. The purpose of this study was to compare treatment outcomes between VPS and ETV in patients with persistent hydrocephalus following surgical resection of a PFBT. Methods: A post-hoc analysis was performed of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) prospective observational study evaluating VPS and ETV for pediatric patients. Children who experienced hydrocephalus secondary to PFBT from 2008 to 2021 were included. Primary outcomes were VPS/ETV treatment failure and time-to-failure (TTF). Results: Among 241 patients, the VPS (183) and ETV (58) groups were similar in age, extent of tumor resection, and preoperative ETV Success Score. There was no difference in overall treatment failure between VPS and ETV (33.9% vs 31.0%, p = 0.751). However, mean TTF was shorter for ETV than VPS (0.45 years vs 1.30 years, p = 0.001). While major complication profiles were similar, compared to VPS, ETV patients had relatively higher incidence of minor CSF leak (10.3% vs. 1.1%, p = 0.003) and pseudomeningocele (12.1% vs 3.3%, p = 0.02). No ETV failures were identified beyond 3 years, while shunt failures occurred beyond 5 years. Shunt infections occurred in 5.5% of the VPS cohort. Conclusions: ETV and VPS offer similar overall success rates for PFBT-related postoperative hydrocephalus. ETV failure occurs earlier, while susceptibility to VPS failure persists beyond 5 years. Tumor histology and grade may be considered when selecting the optimal means of CSF diversion.
- Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
- Posterior fossa tumor
- Ventriculoperitoneal shunt