Hydrocephalus surveillance following CSF diversion: a modified Delphi study

David S. Hersh*, Jonathan E. Martin, Ruth E. Bristol, Samuel R. Browd, Gerald Grant, Nalin Gupta, Todd C. Hankinson, Eric M. Jackson, John R.W. Kestle, Mark D. Krieger, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Casey J. Madura, Jonathan Pindrik, Ian F. Pollack, Jeffrey S. Raskin, Jay Riva-Cambrin, Curtis J. Rozzelle, Jodi L. Smith, John C. Wellons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE Long-term follow-up is often recommended for patients with hydrocephalus, but the frequency of clinical follow-up, timing and modality of imaging, and duration of surveillance have not been clearly defined. Here, the authors used the modified Delphi method to identify areas of consensus regarding the modality, frequency, and duration of hydrocephalus surveillance following surgical treatment. METHODS Pediatric neurosurgeons serving as institutional liaisons to the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN), or its implementation/quality improvement arm (HCRNq), were invited to participate in this modified Delphi study. Thirty-seven consensus statements were generated and distributed via an anonymous electronic survey, with responses structured as a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). A subsequent, virtual meeting offered the opportunity for open discussion and modification of the statements in an effort to reach consensus (defined as ≥ 80% agreement or disagreement). RESULTS Nineteen pediatric neurosurgeons participated in the first round, after which 15 statements reached consensus. During the second round, 14 participants met virtually for review and discussion. Some statements were modified and 2 statements were combined, resulting in a total of 36 statements. At the conclusion of the session, consensus was achieved for 17 statements regarding the following: 1) the role of standardization; 2) preferred imaging modalities; 3) postoperative follow-up after shunt surgery (subdivided into immediate postoperative imaging, delayed postoperative imaging, routine clinical surveillance, and routine radiological surveillance); and 4) postoperative follow-up after an endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Consensus could not be achieved for 19 statements. CONCLUSIONS Using the modified Delphi method, 17 consensus statements were developed with respect to both clinical and radiological follow-up after a shunt or endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The frequency, modality, and duration of surveillance were addressed, highlighting areas in which no clear data exist to guide clinical practice. Although further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of hydrocephalus surveillance, the current study provides a framework to guide future efforts to develop standardized clinical protocols for the postoperative surveillance of patients with hydrocephalus. Ultimately, the standardization of hydrocephalus surveillance has the potential to improve patient care as well as optimize the use of healthcare resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Delphi
  • asymptomatic
  • consensus
  • endoscopic third ventriculostomy
  • hydrocephalus
  • shunt
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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