Pediatric hydrocephalus is a devastating and costly disease. The mainstay of treatment is still surgical shunting of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These shunts fail at a high rate and impose a significant burden on patients, their families, and society. The relationship between clinical decision making and shunt failure is poorly understood and multifaceted, but catheter occlusion remains the most frequent cause of shunt complications. In order to investigate factors that affect shunt failure, Wayne State University (WSU) established the shunt biobank.
This biobank has a broad range of sample types from pediatric hydrocephalus patients with various etiologies; as such, it allows for easy investigation into the prevalence of different etiologies and reasons for failure.
In this paper, the authors set out to detail the biobank and demonstrate how participating centers can benchmark their performance against others. Moreover, by modeling the effects of collected variables on the number of revisions, this paper attempts to build the foundation for prognostic algorithms—something which has been lacking for pediatric hydrocephalus.
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