Chemotherapy administration directly into the fourth ventricle in a new piglet model: Laboratory investigation

David I. Sandberg, Kenneth M. Crandall, Carol K. Petito, Kyle R. Padgett, John Landrum, Darwin Babino, Danshe He, Juan Solano, Manuel Gonzalez-Brito, John W. Kuluz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Object. The authors hypothesized that chemotherapy infusions directly into the fourth ventricle may potentially play a role in treating malignant posterior fossa tumors. In this study the safety and pharmacokinetics of etoposide administration into the fourth ventricle was tested using an indwelling catheter in piglets. Methods. A closed-tip silicone lumbar drain catheter was inserted into the fourth ventricle via a posterior fossa craniectomy and 5 daily infusions of etoposide (0.5 mg in 5 animals) or normal saline (in 2 animals) were instilled. Piglets (10-18 kg, 2-3 months of age) underwent daily neurological examinations and 4.7-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging after the final infusion and were then killed for postmortem examination. Pharmacokinetics were studied using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples at 0.25, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours after etoposide infusion. Peak and trough CSF etoposide levels were measured for each subsequent infusion. Serum etoposide levels were obtained at 2 and 4 hours after infusion. Results. All piglets remained neurologically intact, and MR images demonstrated catheter placement within the fourth ventricle without signal changes in the brainstem or cerebellum. Serum etoposide was absent at 2 and 4 hours after intraventricular infusions. When adequate samples could be obtained for analysis, CSF etoposide levels peaked 15 minutes after infusion and progressively decreased. Cytotoxic levels (< 0.1 μg/ml) were maintained for 5 consecutive peak and trough measurements with 1 exception. Etoposide-related neuropathology included moderate-to-severe T-lymphocytic meningitis and fourth and lateral ventricular choroid plexitis with associated subependymal inflammation. Conclusions. Etoposide can be infused directly into the fourth ventricle without clinical or imaging evidence of damage. Cytotoxic CSF etoposide levels can be maintained for 24 hours with a single daily infusion into the fourth ventricle using an indwelling catheter. Intraventricular etoposide elicits an inflammatory response, the long-term effects of which are as yet undetermined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Animal model
  • Chemotherapy
  • Fourth ventricle
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Piglet
  • Posterior fossa tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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