Death after late failure of endoscopic third ventriculostomy: A potential solution

Ralph J. Mobbs, Marianne Vonau, Mark A. Davies, James M. Drake, Alan R. Cohen, Helmut Bertalanffy, Dieter Hellwig, Charles Teo, Michael L. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Late failure after successful third ventriculostomy is rare, and death caused by failure of a previously successful third ventriculostomy has been reported on four occasions. We describe a simple innovation that adds little morbidity and has the potential to reduce the advent of death after late failure of endoscopic third ventriculostomy. METHODS: After endoscopic fenestration of the floor of the third ventricle, a ventricular catheter and subcutaneous reservoir are placed via the endoscope path. With acute blockage and neurological deterioration, cerebrospinal fluid can be removed via needle puncture of the reservoir until consultation with a neurosurgeon. RESULTS: From 1979 to 2003, more than 240 endoscopic third ventriculostomies have been performed at our institution, with one death after late failure. The revised technique was devised after this death and has been performed on 21 patients to date. CONCLUSION: The addition of a reservoir adds little time and morbidity to the procedure and offers the potential to sample cerebrospinal fluid, measure intracranial pressure, and reduce mortality associated with late failure of endoscopic third ventriculostomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-386
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
  • Failure
  • Solution
  • Ventriculostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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