A subcutaneous ventricular catheter reservoir was inserted between the 16th and 28th (median 23rd) day of life in 13 premature infants (median birth weight 1220 g, range 780-2110) for the treatment of posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus. Aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid (median 6 ml, range 1-15) one to four (median two) times a day for 6 to 90 (median 40) days controlled the hydrocephalus as judged by clinical and ultrasonographic criteria. There were no serious complications, except skin breakdown in one patient. Intracranial pressure measured in five patients through the reservoir showed the efficacy of the treatment, as well as the unreliability of clinical and ultrasonographic criteria in determining the amount of cerebrospinal fluid that should be aspirated daily.
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