gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Electromagnetic-guided neuronavigation for safe placement of intraventricular catheters in pediatric neurosurgery

Meeting Abstract

  • E.J. Hermann - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover
  • H.H. Capelle - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover
  • C.A. Tschan - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover
  • J.K. Krauss - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocSA.02.09

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc319, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc3191

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Hermann et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Ventricular catheter shunt malfunction is the most common cause for shunt revision. Optimal ventricular catheter placement can be exceedingly difficult in patients with small ventricles or abnormal ventricular anatomy. Especially in children and in premature babies with a small head size, satisfactory positioning of the ventricular catheter can be a challenge. Here we demonstrate the advantages of navigation with electromagnetic (EM) tracking technology for shunt placement in children.

Methods: 26 children (aged between 4 days and 14 years, mean age: 3.5 years) with hydrocephalus and difficult ventricular anatomy or slit ventricles underwent EM-guided neuronavigated intraventricular catheter placement (29 procedures).

Results: There were no operative complications. There was no need for repeated ventricular punctures. The intraoperative catheter placement documented by screen shots correlated exactly with the position in the postoperative CT scan. Head movement during the operative procedure is possible without loss of navigation precision. In our follow-up (mean 24 months) we have no malfunction of the proximal catheter. There were 3 shunt infections (after 1 month, 5 months and 10 months) needing operative revision.

Conclusions: The EM navigation system allows safe and optimal catheter placement in children and especially in premature babies by avoiding repeated cannulation attempts for ventricular puncture. In contrast to stereotactic techniques and conventional neuronavigation, there is no need for sharp head fixation. This technique raises hope for reducing proximal shunt failure rates and costs for hydrocephalus treatment in this age cohort.