The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network seeks to improve the lives of children suffering from hydrocephalus through innovative research and importantly, through dissemination of that research. This week the Journal of Neurosurgery released a supplement to their May issue that highlights the best articles from 2016 out of more than 5000 submitted articles. Two of the top ten were from the HCRN, demonstrating one of the ways the network makes field-changing contributions to understanding and treating hydrocephalus. Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni’s article Endoscopic third ventriculostomy in children: prospective, multicenter results from the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network provides a thorough picture of successes and complications when hydrocephalus is treated with ETV. Also recognized was Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin’s Risk factors for shunt malfunction in pediatric hydrocephalus: a multicenter prospective cohort study. This article identifies risk factors associated with shunt failure, allowing clinicians to better evaluate primary shunt placement. These studies demonstrate the importance of research networks, as results from multicenter studies are more likely to apply to a broader population, thereby improving clinical outcomes on a large scale.
The HCRN’s impact is also reaching those at the front lines of clinical practice. Featured this week on the front page of Doximity, an online network for clinicians to stay connected and up to date, was Dr. Jay Wellons’ HCRN research to optimize and standardize treatment for posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus. This study, Shunting outcomes in posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus: results of a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network prospective cohort study, will aid in the complex decisions made by clinicians when treating kids with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) of prematurity.
Congratulations to the lead researchers and research teams for these studies, and a heartfelt thank you to the families who devote their time and energy to participating in clinical research.