Is endoscopic third ventriculostomy a viable treatment option for normal pressure hydrocephalus? A systematic review

Ayesha Sohail, Mohammad Hamza Bajwa, Qurat Ul Ain Virani, Anam Tariq, Nasr Hussain, Shahzad M. Shamim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is considered an alternative treatment for hydrocephalus and has become a standard of care for obstructive hydrocephalus. Recent studies have also explored its role in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). We conducted a systematic review aiming to assess the outcomes of this minimally invasive endoscopic technique as a viable treatment option for NPH. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed and Scopus databases, using iterations of search terms “Endoscopic third ventriculostomy,” “Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus,” and “Normal pressure hydrocephalus.” To be eligible for inclusion in the review, articles had to report the usage of ETV as a primary treatment modality for NPH, report its outcomes, and be published in the English language. Results: Out of the 13 studies selected for qualitative synthesis, nine supported the use of ETV for NPH as an effective treatment option with improvement in the preoperative symptoms. Two studies favored shunt over ETV, stating that quality of life is better with VP shunt insertion. One study reported that ETV has higher perioperative mortality rates that outweigh its benefits. One study reported it to be an ineffective surgical option. Conclusion: The current review of evidence does not support the use of ETV for the treatment of NPH, except perhaps in a small subset of patients. These patients have a shorter duration of symptoms and a better preoperative neurological status. The lumbar infusion test and ventricular infusion test are modalities useful for selecting these candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
  • Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Systematic review


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