OBJECTIVE: To report on the occurrence and management of subdural haematoma after shunt implantation for normal pressure hydrocephalus and to determine the risk of recurrence in the setting of antiplatelet medication.
METHODS: From a consecutive series of 80 patients implanted with a cerebrospinal fluid shunt for normal pressure hydrocephalus, records from 11 patients taking antiplatelet drugs, who subsequently had surgery for subdural haematoma were extracted and retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: Patients were followed up for a mean of 1819 days after shunt implantation. Subdural haematomas occurred at a median of 335 days after shunt implantation - four ipsilateral, five contralateral and two bilateral with respect to the ventricular catheter. Three patients had reoperations done within a week without having resumed antiplatelet medication in the interim. One of them had three further reoperations done before the subdural collection disappeared. Only one patient had a late recurrence almost 11 years after shunt implantation.
CONCLUSIONS: Subdural haematoma in the setting of a ventriculoperitoneal implantation for normal pressure hydrocephalus and concomitant antiplatelet medication can be managed along usual lines. Antiplatelet medication can be recommenced in due course with a low risk of recurrence.