This paper examines approaches to the discontinuation external ventricular drainage in patients with hydrocephalus following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage as part of a Scandinavian multi-institutional survey.
BackgroundHydrocephalus requiring external ventricular drainage is common following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Timing and strategy for the discontinuation of the external ventricular drain (EVD) are, however, controversial as guidelines are based on limited scientific evidence. A recent similar survey showed that guidelines and recommendations are not being followed. We conducted a questionnaire survey regarding the management of EVD treatment in patients with aSAH and investigated current treatment practice, consensus, and adherence to guidelines within the neurosurgical departments in Scandinavia.
MethodsA questionnaire concerning the management of EVD discontinuation in patients with hydrocephalus following aSAH was distributed to all 14 neurosurgical departments in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark). Neurosurgeons and neurosurgical trainees at all levels were asked to complete the questionnaire individually. A total of 175 completed questionnaires were received between May 2018 and April 2019, resulting in a response rate of 64 %.
ResultsEighty-five percent of respondents reported no knowledge of international guidelines regarding EVD discontinuation in patients with hydrocephalus following aSAH. Within every department, respondents disagreed on whether a common discontinuation strategy was followed or not. Seventy-four percent decided upon the EVD discontinuation strategy mainly determined by patients’ clinical condition and drainage volume. Forty-five percent considered Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) the most important clinical variable when assessing the timing of EVD discontinuation. There was general agreement towards the initiation of EVD discontinuation 4–7 days after ictus of aSAH in a stable patient with a drainage volume of < 150 ml/day and intracranial pressure (ICP) < 15 mmHg.
ConclusionAwareness of and adherence to international guidelines regarding EVD discontinuation in patients with hydrocephalus following aSAH were limited in Scandinavia. Internal consensus at department level was absent. Initiation of the discontinuation process appeared to be case dependent and mainly influenced by the patients’ clinical condition and drainage volume. GCS was the clinical variable considered most important when deciding on the initiation of EVD discontinuation.
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