World J Surg Oncol 2019 Mar 27
Clinical outcome of cerebrospinal fluid shunts in patients with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.   
Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC) is frequently associated with hydrocephalus, which quickly devastates the performance of the patient. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt is a widely accepted treatment of choice, but the clinical outcomes in patients with LMC are not well studied. This study aimed to examine the efficacy of a CSF shunt in patients with LMC.
Seventy patients with LMC confirmed by cytology or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) underwent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) or lumboperitoneal (LP) shunt surgery. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics of patients, symptom improvement after the shunt, rate of complications associated with the surgery, and overall survival.
Fifty-five patients had systemic cancer as a preceding disease, including lung cancer (45), breast cancer (6), and others (4). Primary brain tumors were mainly glioma (7) and medulloblastoma (5). Fifty-one patients had VP shunt, and 19 had LP shunt. After surgery, preoperative symptoms "improved" in 35 patients (50%) and were "normalized" in 24 of those patients (34%). Shunt malfunction occurred in eight patients, and infection occurred in eight patients. Seventeen patients underwent revision due to infection, shunt malfunction, or over-drainage. There were no complications associated with peritoneal seeding during a median follow-up of 3.3 months after surgery. The median overall survival was 8.7 months (95% confidence interval, 6.0-11.4) from LMC diagnosis and 4.1 months from shunt surgery.
VP or LP shunt is effective for patients with hydrocephalus from LMC in terms of symptom improvement and prolonging of overall survival with an acceptable rate of procedure-related complications.
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the National Cancer Center (retrospectively registered, NCC2018-0051 ).

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