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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 147-158

The entity of the trapped fourth ventricle: A review of its history, pathophysiology, and treatment options

1 Department of Neurosurgical, Pediatric Hospital, Agia Sophia, Athens, Attica, Greece
2 Department of Neurosurgical, 251 Greek Air Force Hospital, Athens, Attica, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Dimitrios Panagopoulos
Thivon and Papadiamantopoulou St, Goudi, Postal Code 11527, Athens, Attica
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bc.bc_30_21

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An isolated or trapped fourth ventricle is a relatively rare, although serious, adverse effect of hemorrhagic, infectious, or inflammatory processes that involve the central nervous system. This entity usually occurs after successful shunting of the lateral ventricles and may become clinically evident with the development of delayed clinical deterioration. This decline of the neurological status of the patient is evident after an initial period of improvement of the relevant symptoms. Surgical treatment options include cerebrospinal fluid shunting procedures, along with open surgical and endoscopic approaches. Complications related to its management are common and are related with obstruction of the fourth ventricular catheter, along with cranial nerve or brainstem dysfunction. We used the keywords: “isolated fourth ventricle,” and “trapped fourth ventricle,” in PubMed® and Web of Science®. Treatment of the trapped fourth ventricle remains a surgical challenge, although the neurosurgical treatment armamentarium has broadened. However, prompt recognition of the clinical and neurological findings that accompany any individual patient, in conjunction with the relevant imaging findings, is mandatory to organize our treatment plan on an individual basis. The current experience suggests that any individual intervention plan should be mainly based on the underlying pathological substrate of hydrocephalus. This could help us to preserve the patient's life, on an emergent basis, as well as to ensure an uneventful neurological outcome, maintaining at least the preexisting level of neurological function.

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