DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics13172805 ISSN:

Accuracy, Hemorrhagic Complications and CT Radiation Dose of Emergency External Ventricular Drain (EVD) Placement in Pediatric Patients: A 15-Year Retrospective Analysis

Robert Stahl, Melvin D’Anastasi, Robert Forbrig, Thomas Liebig, Sophie Katzendobler, Jonathan Weller, Christoph G. Trumm
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Purpose: To assess accuracy, the frequency of hemorrhagic complications and computed tomography (CT) radiation dose parameters in pediatric patients undergoing landmark-guided external ventricular drain (EVD) placement in an emergency setting. Methods: Retrospective analysis comprised 36 EVD placements with subsequent CT control scans in 29 patients (aged 0 to 17 years) in our university hospital from 2008 to 2022. The position of the EVD as well as the presence and extension of bleeding were classified according to previously established grading schemes. Dose length product (DLP), volume-weighted CT dose index (CTDIvol) and scan length were extracted from the radiation dose reports and compared to the diagnostic reference values (DRLs) issued by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection. Results: After the initial EVD placement, optimal positioning of the catheter tip into the ipsilateral frontal horn or third ventricle (Grade I), or a functional positioning in the contralateral lateral ventricle or the non-eloquent cortex (Grade II), was achieved in 28 and 8 cases, respectively. In 32 of 36 procedures, no evidence of hemorrhage was present in the control CT scan. Grade 1 (<1 mL) and Grade 2 (≥1 to 15 mL) bleedings were detected after 3 and 1 placement(s), respectively. For control scans after EVD placements, CTDIvol (median [25%; 75% quartile]) was 39.92 [30.80; 45.55] mGy, DLP yielded 475.50 [375.00; 624.75] mGy*cm and the scan length result was 136 [120; 166] mm. Exceedances of the DRL values were observed in 14.5% for CTDIvol, 12.7% for DLP and 65.6% for the scan length. None of these values was in the range requiring a report to the national authorities. Conclusion: Landmark-based emergency EVD placement in pediatric patients yielded an optimal position in most cases already after the initial insertion. Complications in terms of secondary hemorrhages are rare. CT dose levels associated with the intervention are below the reportable threshold of the national DRLs in Germany.

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