NYMC Faculty Publications

Risk Factors for Posttraumatic Hydrocephalus After Decompressive Hemicraniectomy in Pediatric Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury

Author Type(s)

Student, Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

Journal of Neurosurgery. Pediatrics

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Second Department


Third Department



OBJECTIVE: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) play a significant role in pediatric mortality and morbidity. Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) is a treatment option for severe pediatric TBI (pTBI) not amenable to medical management of intracranial pressure. Posttraumatic hydrocephalus (PTH) is a known sequela of DHC that may lead to further injury and decreased capacity for recovery if not identified and treated. The goal of this study was to characterize risk factors for PTH after DHC in patients with pTBI by using the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). METHODS: The records collected in the KID from 2016 to 2019 were queried for patients with TBI using International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision codes. Data defining demographics, complications, procedures, and outcomes were extracted. Multivariate regression was used to identify risk factors associated with PTH. The authors also investigated length of stay and hospital charges. RESULTS: Of 68,793 patients with pTBI, 848 (1.2%) patients underwent DHC. Prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) was required in 475 (56.0%) patients with pTBI undergoing DHC. Three hundred (35.4%) patients received an external ventricular drain (EVD) prior to DHC. PTH was seen in 105 (12.4%), and 50 (5.9%) received a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. DHC before hospital day 2 was negatively associated with PTH (OR 0.464, 95% CI 0.267-0.804; p = 0.006), whereas PMV (OR 2.204, 95% CI 1.344-3.615; p = 0.002) and EVD placement prior to DHC (OR 6.362, 95% CI 3.667-11.037; p < 0.001) were positively associated with PTH. PMV (OR 7.919, 95% CI 2.793-22.454; p < 0.001), TBI with subdural hematoma (OR 2.606, 95% CI 1.119-6.072; p = 0.026), and EVD placement prior to DHC (OR 4.575, 95% CI 2.253-9.291; p < 0.001) were independent predictors of ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion. The mean length of stay and total hospital charges were significantly increased in patients with PMV and in those with PTH. CONCLUSIONS: PMV, presence of subdural hematoma, and EVD placement prior to DHC are risk factors for PTH in patients with pTBI who underwent DHC. Higher healthcare resource utilization was seen in patients with PTH. Identifying risk factors for PTH may improve early diagnosis and efficient resource utilization.