The Gerber Foundation recently awarded Dr. Chevis Shannon, Research Assistant Professor & Director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Clinical Research Initiative at Vanderbilt University, and HCRN investigator, a grant to evaluate the impact of post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) on neurodevelopmental outcomes in premature infants. Her study entitled “Understanding the Impact of Post Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus on Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Premature Infants,” will compare neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18-22 months and 36-42 months (corrected age) between very low birth weight infants (VLBW) who undergo initial reservoir placement verses those VLBW infants who undergo initial subgaleal placement for temporary cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion, and between VLBW infants who undergo initial temporization verses permanent VP shunt placement for CSF diversion. Additionally, these outcomes will be evaluated to determine the relationship of PHH-associated elevations in CSF levels of neurodevelopmental protein mediators.
This project is an ancillary project to two currently enrolling HCRN projects: “Shunting Outcomes in Post Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus (SOPHH),” PI Dr. John Wellons, is investigating the impact of temporization and permanent CSF diversion procedures in the treatment of hydrocephalus in this patient population and “Cerebrospinal Fluid Markers of Post-Hemorrhagic Hydrocephalus (SOPHH Biomarkers),” PI Dr. David Limbrick, is studying CSF protein biomarkers to identify higher risk premature infants in an effort to facilitate earlier diagnosis of post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus.
Eligibility for her study includes all premature neonates with:
• Birth weights less than 1500 grams, and
• Grade III or IV IVH, and
• FOR score greater than or equal to 0.50, and
• Greater than 72 hour life expectancy from other medical problems who primarily present or are referred prior to surgical intervention for PHH to HCRN Clinical Centers.
• The age range of enrollment is between 0 and 180 days.
This project aligns with the Gerber Foundation’s focus on pediatric health specifically the need to identify ways to improve the health of premature infants that will impact their cognitive function both in the short and long run.
Vanderbilt University posted a story about the grant on their blog as well.