Quality of Life in Individuals Surgically Treated for Congenital Hydrocephalus During Infancy: A Single-Institution Experience

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Background: Congenital hydrocephalus (CH) is a frequently encountered birth anomaly that can hinder long-term neurologic maturity and social well-being of affected children. This study was undertaken to assess quality of life (QOL) 10-15 years after surgical treatment for primary CH during infancy at a tertiary care hospital in a developing country.Methods: This retrospective cohort study included individuals who presented to Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, between 1995 and 2005 at <1 year old and underwent surgery for primary CH. The Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire was used to assess outcomes with respect to QOL.Results: Of 118 patients, 90 patients participated in the study. Mean age at first admission was 6.2 months. Mean length of follow-up was 5.4 years. Of these, 28 patients had died after surgery. Shunt infection (P= 0.012) and delayed milestones (P= 0.003) were found to be statistically significant factors affecting mortality in the patients who died. The mean overall health score was 0.67 ± 0.30. Age <6months at the time of first surgery was a poor predictor of overall health on the Hydrocephalus Outcome Questionnaire (P= 0.039).CONCLUSIONS: In our analysis, we assessed the QOL associated with CH. We hope that these results will provide insight for future prospective work with the ultimate goal of improving long-term QOL in children with CH.


World Neurosurgery