Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy with Choroid Plexus Cauterization

Also known as: ETV/CPC.

What is endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization?

Normally, fluid is formed in the brain (cerebrospinal fluid-CSF) by the choroid plexus (contains blood vessels) in the spaces of the brain tissue (ventricles) and flows through a pathway around the brain and spinal cord. It is continuously being made and reabsorbed.

When the fluid cannot flow or is not absorbed properly, fluid builds up-this is called hydrocephalus. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization is a surgical treatment option for hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain.

What happens during the procedure?

Through evidence-based research, it has been recognized that adding cauterization of the choroid plexus to the third ventriculostomy has impacted positively the success of ETVs to treat hydrocephalus in young children and certain types of hydrocephalus.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization are performed during the same surgery. A hole is made in the skull, and an endoscope is used to make a hole in the bottom of a ventricle. This reestablishes a normal spinal fluid flow. Choroid plexus cauterization involves burning the tissue that produces spinal fluid so that it doesn’t produce as much.

Is any special preparation needed?

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization is a fairly complex procedure. A number of imaging tests are required before a baby/child will undergo the surgery.

What are the risk factors?

Cerebrospinal fluid pathway closure (20%-50%), infections, and fever are all potentially severe complications. Other complications include short-term memory loss and endocrine abnormalities.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 08, 2020 01:47 PM

Hydrocephalus Program

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Hydrocephalus is primarily an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. There are many cause of hydrocephalus, which can be congenital or acquired in nature. In some children, the cause remains unknown. Learn more


Ventriculomegaly is a congenital condition in which the ventricles of a fetus/baby are abnormally large. Learn more

Choroid Plexus Brain Tumor

The choroid plexus is the tissue that lies in the cavities of the brain (called ventricles and there are four of them) that creates the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) which surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord. Learn more

Shunt Placement

A shunt is a valve that is connected to a catheter to divert excess cerebral spinal fluid to another part of the body for absorption. Our neurosurgeons use various types of shunt valves, both fixed pressure and programmable valves to treat hydrocephalus in babies and children. These options are determined based on each patient's individual needs. Learn more

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV)

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) is used as an alternative to shunting in selected patients with hydrocephalus. Learn more