The Incidence of Postoperative Seizures Following Treatment of Postinfectious Hydrocephalus in Ugandan Infants: A Post Hoc Comparison of Endoscopic Treatment vs Shunt Placement in a Randomized Controlled Trial

Maria Punchak, Edith Mbabazi Kabachelor, Michael Ogwal, Esther Nalule, Joyce Nalwoga, Peter Ssenyonga, John Mugamba, Abbas Rattani, Michael C. Dewan, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Steven J. Schiff, Benjamin Warf

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BACKGROUND: There are currently no published data directly comparing postoperative seizure incidence following endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), with/without choroid plexus cauterization (CPC), to that for ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement. OBJECTIVE: To compare postoperative epilepsy incidence for ETV/CPC and VPS in Ugandan infants treated for postinfectious hydrocephalus (PIH). METHODS: We performed an exploratory post hoc analysis of a randomized trial comparing VPS and ETV/CPC in 100 infants (<6 mo old) presenting with PIH. Minimum follow-up was 2 yr. Variables associated with and the incidence of postoperative epilepsy were compared (intention-to-treat) using a bivariate analysis. Time to first seizure was compared using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the relative risk for the 2 treatments was determined using Mantel-Haenszel hazard ratios. RESULTS: Seizure incidence was not related to age (P =. 075), weight (P =. 768), sex (P =. 151), head circumference (P =. 281), time from illness to hydrocephalus onset (P =. 973), or hydrocephalus onset to treatment (P =. 074). Irritability (P =. 027) and vision deficit (P =. 04) were preoperative symptoms associated with postoperative seizures. Ten (10%) patients died, and 20 (20%) developed seizures over the follow-up period. Overall seizure incidence was 9.4 per 100 person-years (9.4 and 9.5 for ETV/CPC and VPS, respectively; P =. 483), with no significant difference in seizure risk between groups (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% CI: 0.42, 2.45; P =. 966). Mean time to seizure onset was 8.5 mo for ETV/CPC and 11.2 mo for VPS (P =. 464). As-treated, per-protocol, and attributable-intervention analyses yielded similar results. CONCLUSION: Postoperative seizure incidence following treatment of PIH was 20% within 2 yr, regardless of treatment modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E714-E721
JournalClinical Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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