Factors related to hydrocephalus after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Zeena Dorai, Linda S. Hynan, Thomas A. Kopitnik, Duke Samson, Thomas H. Milhorat, Juha Hernesniemi, Marc P. Sindou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify factors predictive of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus among patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The data can be used to predict which patients in this group have a high probability of requiring permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion. METHODS: Seven hundred eighteen patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage who were treated between 1990 and 1999 were retrospectively studied, to identify factors contributing to shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. With these data, a stepwise logistic regression procedure was used to determine the effect of each variable on the development of hydrocephalus and to create a scoring system. RESULTS: Overall, 152 of the 718 patients (21.2%) underwent shunting procedures for treatment of hydrocephalus. Four hundred seventy-nine of the patients (66.7%) were female. Of the factors investigated, the following were associated with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus, as determined with a variety of statistical methods: 1) increasing age (P < 0.001), 2) female sex (P = 0.015), 3) poor admission Hunt and Hess grade (P < 0.001), 4) thick subarachnoid hemorrhage on admission computed tomographic scans (P < 0.001), 5) intraventricular hemorrhage (P < 0.001), 6) radiological hydrocephalus at the time of admission (P < 0.001), 7) distal posterior circulation location of the ruptured aneurysm (P = 0.046), 8) clinical vasospasm (P < 0.001), and 9) endovascular treatment (P = 0.013). The presence of intracerebral hematomas, giant aneurysms, or multiple aneurysms did not influence the development of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. CONCLUSION: The results of this study can help identify patients with a high risk of developing shunt-dependent hydrocephalus. This may help neurosurgeons expedite treatment, may decrease the cost and length of hospital stays, and may result in improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-771
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Aneurysm
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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