CSF diversion in refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension: single-centre experience and review of efficacy

Georgios Niotakis, Dionysios Grigoratos, Chris Chandler, Danny Morrison, Ming Lim*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The current surgical management strategies for refractory cases of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) remain unresolved. We evaluated the outcome of our paediatric patients who were offered a CSF diversion procedure in order to control their symptoms.

    We retrospectively reviewed the medical notes of the patients under 16 years of age, who presented in our centre from 2005 to 2010, with a confirmed diagnosis of IIH, and ultimately had a lumboperitoneal shunt (LPS). We describe their immediate postoperative course, shunt-related complications and recent outcome.

    Seven patients presented at a mean age of 8.7 years. Two presented with significant visual loss and had a shunt acutely; the remaining five presented with headaches and were shunted within 2 years. In the immediate postoperative period two patients experienced low-pressure symptoms. All patients required shunt revisions; in total 15 revisions took place, mainly secondary to symptomatic overdrainage or obstruction. After a mean follow-up of 26 months, two patients have diminished visual acuity at least on one side; only one patient became headache-free, despite resolution of the CSF pressure post diversion in four out of the six remaining patients.

    All patients required shunt revisions and 6/7 (85.7 %) had persisting headaches at their last follow-up. It is apparent that once functional, the LPS seems adequate to lower the CSF pressure but not effective in eliminating symptoms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)263-267
    Number of pages5
    JournalChilds Nervous System
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


    • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
    • CSF diversion
    • Lumboperitoneal shunt
    • Low-pressure headaches


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