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      Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders : Lifelong Implications 

      Global Perspectives on the Treatment of Hydrocephalus

      Springer International Publishing

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          A randomized trial of prenatal versus postnatal repair of myelomeningocele.

          Prenatal repair of myelomeningocele, the most common form of spina bifida, may result in better neurologic function than repair deferred until after delivery. We compared outcomes of in utero repair with standard postnatal repair. We randomly assigned eligible women to undergo either prenatal surgery before 26 weeks of gestation or standard postnatal repair. One primary outcome was a composite of fetal or neonatal death or the need for placement of a cerebrospinal fluid shunt by the age of 12 months. Another primary outcome at 30 months was a composite of mental development and motor function. The trial was stopped for efficacy of prenatal surgery after the recruitment of 183 of a planned 200 patients. This report is based on results in 158 patients whose children were evaluated at 12 months. The first primary outcome occurred in 68% of the infants in the prenatal-surgery group and in 98% of those in the postnatal-surgery group (relative risk, 0.70; 97.7% confidence interval [CI], 0.58 to 0.84; P<0.001). Actual rates of shunt placement were 40% in the prenatal-surgery group and 82% in the postnatal-surgery group (relative risk, 0.48; 97.7% CI, 0.36 to 0.64; P<0.001). Prenatal surgery also resulted in improvement in the composite score for mental development and motor function at 30 months (P=0.007) and in improvement in several secondary outcomes, including hindbrain herniation by 12 months and ambulation by 30 months. However, prenatal surgery was associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery and uterine dehiscence at delivery. Prenatal surgery for myelomeningocele reduced the need for shunting and improved motor outcomes at 30 months but was associated with maternal and fetal risks. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00060606.).
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            Randomized trial of cerebrospinal fluid shunt valve design in pediatric hydrocephalus.

            Forty percent of standard cerebrospinal fluid shunts implanted for the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus fail within the first year. Two new shunt valves designed to limit excess flow, particularly in upright positions, were studied to compare treatment failure rates with those for standard differential-pressure valves. Three hundred-forty-four hydrocephalic children (age, birth to 18 yr) undergoing their first cerebrospinal fluid shunt insertion were randomized at 12 North American or European pediatric neurosurgical centers. Patients received one of three valves, i.e., a standard differential-pressure valve; a Delta valve (Medtronic PS Medical, Goleta, CA), which contains a siphon-control component designed to reduce siphoning in upright positions; or an Orbis-Sigma valve (Cordis, Miami, FL), with a variable-resistance, flow-limiting component. Patients were monitored for a minimum of 1 year. Endpoints were defined as shunt failure resulting from shunt obstruction, overdrainage, loculations of the cerebral ventricles, or infection. Outcome events were assessed by blinded independent case review. One hundred-fifty patients reached an endpoint; shunt obstruction occurred in 108 (31.4%), overdrainage in 12 (3.5%), loculated ventricles in 2 (0.6%), and infection in 28 (8.1%). Sixty-one percent were shunt failure-free at 1 year and 47% at 2 years, with a median shunt failure-free duration of 656 days. There was no difference in shunt failure-free duration among the three valves (P = 0.24). Cerebrospinal fluid shunt failure, predominantly from shunt obstruction and infection, remains a persistent problem in pediatric hydrocephalus. Two new valve designs did not significantly affect shunt failure rates.
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              Tuberculous meningitis: more questions, still too few answers.

              Tuberculous meningitis is especially common in young children and people with untreated HIV infection, and it kills or disables roughly half of everyone affected. Childhood disease can be prevented by vaccination and by giving prophylactic isoniazid to children exposed to infectious adults, although improvements in worldwide tuberculosis control would lead to more effective prevention. Diagnosis is difficult because clinical features are non-specific and laboratory tests are insensitive, and treatment delay is the strongest risk factor for death. Large doses of rifampicin and fluoroquinolones might improve outcome, and the beneficial effect of adjunctive corticosteroids on survival might be augmented by aspirin and could be predicted by screening for a polymorphism in LTA4H, which encodes an enzyme involved in eicosanoid synthesis. However, these advances are insufficient in the face of drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV co-infection. Many questions remain about the best approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat tuberculous meningitis, and there are still too few answers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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                November 11 2018
                : 351-361


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