OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the outcome of early shunt placement in patients with poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage and the effect of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and high proteinaceous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on subsequent shunt performance.
METHODS: This study included 33 consecutive patients with initial Fisher grade (3/4) subarachnoid hemorrhage who had undergone conversion from external ventricular drainage (EVD) to a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt and whose computed tomography scan showed IVH at the time of shunt placement. Early weaning from an EVD and conversion to a VP shunt was performed irrespective of IVH or high protein content in the CSF.
RESULTS: The mean interval from EVD to VP shunt placement was 6.4 days. The mean volume of IVH was 9.44 mL, and the mean value of IVH/whole ventricle volume ratio (ie, percentage of blood suspension in the CSF) was 9.81%. The mean perioperative protein level in the CSF was 149 mg/dL. During the follow-up period, 2 patients (6.1%) required VP shunt placement, and no patients experienced complications of ventriculitis or shunt-related infection.
CONCLUSION: Based on our data, earlier EVD weaning and shunt placement can effectively treat subarachnoid hemorrhage–induced hydrocephalus in patients with severe subarachnoid hemorrhage. This procedure resulted in no shunt-related infections and a 6.1% revision rate. There were fewer adverse effects of IVH and protein on shunt performance. Therefore, weaning from an EVD and conversion to a permanent VP shunt need not be delayed because of IVH or proteinaceous CSF.