Clinical outcome of cerebrospinal fluid shunting for communicating hydrocephalus in mucopolysaccharidoses I, II, and III: a retrospective analysis of 13 patients.



Intracranial pathology is a well-documented feature of mucopolysaccharidoses (MPSs), including communicating hydrocephalus (CH). Neither the success nor the complications of cerebrospinal fluid shunting in MPS patients have been well documented.


To retrospectively analyze 13 children with communicating hydrocephalus and MPS at our institution between 1998 and 2006.


Thirteen patients diagnosed with MPS I, II, or III presenting for stem cell transplantation were retrospectively analyzed. Patients underwent a rigorous pretransplantation workup, including magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. If imaging revealed ventriculomegaly, a lumbar puncture was performed. If intracranial pressure was >20 cm H20 or the patient demonstrated clinical signs of hydrocephalus or evidence of clinical decline with increasing ventricular size on imaging, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) was placed. Clinical outcomes were analyzed after dividing the patients into 2 groups: patients who underwent VPS before (group A) and after (Group B) stem cell transplantation.


There were 8 patients in group A and 5 in group B. Group B patients developed more severe complications, including 2 patients who required VPS early after transplantation, one who died secondary to intracerebral hemorrhage and another who developed a subdural empyema. Of the 8 patients in group A, 5 had complications, including 2 shunt infections, a punctate intracerebral hematoma, shunt tube migration, and 3 shunt failures.


This is the largest review of MPS patients with communicating hydrocephalus. It demonstrates that VPS is an effective treatment. MPS patients need to be evaluated for hydrocephalus before stem cell transplantation because pretransplantation shunting appears to have the most favorable risk/benefit ratio.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Aliabadi, Hamidreza, Renee Reynolds, Ciaran J Powers, Gerald Grant, Herbert Fuchs and Joanne Kurtzberg (2010). Clinical outcome of cerebrospinal fluid shunting for communicating hydrocephalus in mucopolysaccharidoses I, II, and III: a retrospective analysis of 13 patients. Neurosurgery, 67(6). pp. 1476–1481. 10.1227/neu.0b013e3181f8c11d Retrieved from

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Gerald Arthur Grant

Allan H. Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery

Herbert Edgar Fuchs

Professor of Neurosurgery

Clinical neuro-oncology research including collaborations studying molecular genetics of childhood brain tumors.
Potential role of the free electron laser in surgery of pediatric brain tumors. Current work includes animal models with human brain tumor xenografts in preclinical studies.
Collaboration with the neurooncology laboratory of Dr. Darell Bigner in preclinical studies of new therapeutic agents.


Joanne Kurtzberg

Jerome S. Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Kurtzberg is an internationally renowned expert in pediatric hematology/oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, and novel applications of cord blood and birthing tissues in the emerging fields of cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.   Dr. Kurtzberg serves as the Director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3), Director of the Pediatric Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke University.  The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank is an FDA licensed public cord blood bank distributing unrelated cord blood units for donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) through the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.  The Robertson GMP Cell Manufacturing Laboratory supports manufacturing of RETHYMIC (BLA, Enzyvant, 2021), allogeneic cord tissue derived and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), and DUOC, a microglial/macrophage cell derived from cord blood.

Dr. Kurtzberg’s research in MC3 focuses on translational studies from bench to bedside, seeking to develop transformative clinical therapies using cells, tissues, molecules, genes, and biomaterials to treat diseases and injuries that currently lack effective treatments. Recent areas of investigation in MC3 include clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of autologous and allogeneic cord blood in children with neonatal brain injury – hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and autism. Clinical trials testing allogeneic cord blood are also being conducted in adults with acute ischemic stroke. Clinical trials optimizing manufacturing and testing the safety and efficacy of cord tissue MSCs in children with autism, CP and HIE and adults with COVID-lung disease are underway. DUOC, given intrathecally, is under study in children with leukodystrophies and adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

In the past, Dr. Kurtzberg has developed novel chemotherapeutic drugs for acute leukemias, assays enumerating ALDH bright cells to predict cord blood unit potency, methods of cord blood expansion, potency assays for targeted cell and tissue based therapies. Dr. Kurtzberg currently holds several INDs for investigational clinical trials from the FDA.  She has also trained numerous medical students, residents, clinical and post-doctoral fellows over the course of her career.

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