This article reviews the history of neuroendoscopy, equipment and technology used, and possible translation of techniques currently used in human medicine to veterinary patients. The endoscope was first developed over 200 years ago and has many applications in human medicine. The field of neuroendoscopy grew out of the need to visualize and access delicate intracranial anatomy without resorting to full craniotomy. Thanks to relatively recent technical advances, neuroendoscopy is currently used in human medicine to manage hydrocephalus, neoplasia, and intracranial cysts. Since many of the same conditions exist for veterinary patients, it seems logical that endoscopic techniques could be applied. To date, few cases have been reported or attempts been made. The companion animal’s smaller size presents an obvious challenge where instrumentation is concerned and special consideration needs to be given to proper equipment. Furthermore, safety and efficacy of these procedures in animals are currently unknown.

Commentary: Improvements in instrumentation and techniques have greatly increased the use and effectiveness of neuroendoscopy in human medicine, particularly for treatment of hydrocephalus. Compared with other neurosurgical techniques, however, veterinary neuroendoscopy remains in its infancy. The only reports available in the veterinary literature to date have described endoscope-assisted removal of residual brain tumor tissue following gross surgical excision. This article previews an exciting possibility for the future of veterinary neuroendoscopy, especially for conditions that have long been intractable to medical and surgical treatment.—Mark Troxel, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)

A review of neuroendoscopy and potential applications in veterinary medicine. Higginbotham M, Levesque D. JAAHA 47:73-82, 2011.