Mr Kristian Aquilina

Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon
Mr Kristian Aquilina


Mr Aquilina graduated from the University of Malta in 1995 and completed his neurosurgical training in 2009. He completed a one-year clinical fellowship in paediatric neurosurgery, and particularly neuro-oncology, at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where he trained under the mentorship of Professors Frederick Boop and Robert (Alex) Sanford. He was appointed lead neurosurgeon for neuro-oncology at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in 2012.  

Mr Aquilina completed an MD in original research on hydrocephalus in premature babies at the University of Bristol in 2012. He also spent time at the Center for Cerebral Palsy in St Louis, Missouri, where he learnt the single level technique for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. He subsequently introduced this procedure to the UK while a consultant in Bristol in 2011. He has an interest in neurosurgical education and leads the fellowship programme in neurosurgery at GOSH. He is an examiner on the intercollegiate fellowship examination in neurosurgery, FRCS (Neuro.Surg), in the UK.  

Mr Aquilina is committed to optimising results in surgery for brain tumours in children. The balance between obtaining a complete resection of the tumour and minimising neurological deficit is often difficult. He uses intra-operative neuro-monitoring for several tumour procedures, and is the neurosurgical lead for the intra-operative MRI project at GOSH.  

The strength of the brain tumour service at GOSH lies in the expertise of the large multidisciplinary team who meet weekly to discuss all patients, and in the large number of patients referred every year. The team offers all treatment modalities for brain tumours, is engaged in international research, and plans to open a proton therapy centre in 2019.  

Languages Spoken:

  • Maltese
  • English


  • Surgery for brain tumours in children 
  • Intra-operative neurophysiological monitoring in brain tumour surgery 
  • Management of hydrocephalus, including neuro-endoscopy 
  • Cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in difficult hydrocephalus 
  • Selective dorsal rhizotomy and cerebral palsy 
  • Outcomes of surgery for brain tumours in children 
  • Robot-guided biopsy of tumours in the brain and brainstem 
  • Intra-operative MRI and neurophysiological monitoring for brain tumour surgery in children 
  • Outcomes and safety of neuro-endoscopy in children 
  • Management of hydrocephalus in newborn babies 
  • Outcomes of intraventricular haemorrhage of prematurity 
  • Single level selective dorsal rhizotomy – patient selection and outcomes 
  • MD – University of Malta, 1995 
  • FRCS(Eng.) – 1999 
  • FRCS(NeuroSurg.) – 2005 
  • MD – University of Bristol, 2012 
  • Posterior fossa syndrome after surgery for brain tumours – clinical evaluation and advanced magnetic resonance imaging 
  • Endoscopic lavage in intraventricular haemorrhage of prematurity as a novel treatment option for hydrocephalus in babies (Principal investigator for the ENLIVEN trial) 
  • Outcomes and guideline development for craniopharyngiomas and ependymomas 
  • Outcomes of selective dorsal rhizotomy  
  • Tumour biopsy for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (Lead neurosurgeon on the BIOMEDE trial in the UK) 



Mr Kristian Aquilina is covered by the following insurers:

News & Publications

Bowes, A.L., King-Robson, J., Dawes, W.J., James, G., Aquilina, K., 2017. Neuroendoscopic surgery in children: does age at intervention influence safety and efficacy? A single-center experience. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 20(4) pp. 324-328.  

Copley, P., Kirkman, M.A., Thompson, D., James, G., Aquilina, K., 2017. Endoscopic surgery for intraventricular arachnoid cysts in children: clinical presentation, radiological features, management, and outcomes over a 12-year period. Childs Nerv Syst.  

Tan, T.S., Patel, L., Gopal Kothandapani, J.S., Ehtisham, S., Ikazoboh, E.C., Hayward, R., Aquilina, K., Skae, M., Thorp, N., Pizer, B., Didi, M., Mallucci, C., Blair, J.C., Gaze, M.N., Kamaly-Asl, I., Spoudeas, H., Clayton, P.E., 2017. The neuroendocrine sequelae of paediatric craniopharyngioma: a 40-year meta-data analysis of 185 cases from three UK centres. Eur J Endocrinol. 176(3) pp. 359-369.  

Aquilina, K., Daniels, D.J., Spoudeas, H., Phipps, K., Gan, H.W., Boop, F.A., 2015. Optic pathway glioma in children: does visual deficit correlate with radiology in focal exophytic lesions? Childs Nerv Syst. 31(11) pp. 2041-9.  

Gan, H.W., Phipps, K., Aquilina, K., Gaze, M.N., Hayward, R., Spoudeas, H.A., 2015. Neuroendocrine Morbidity After Pediatric Optic Gliomas: A Longitudinal Analysis of 166 Children Over 30 Years. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 100(10) pp.3787-99.  

Aquilina, K., Graham, D., Wimalasundera, N., 2015. Selective dorsal rhizotomy: an old treatment re-emerging. Arch Dis Child. 100(8) pp.798-802. 

Aquilina, K., Pople, I.K., Sacree, J., Carter, M.R., Edwards, R.J., 2012. The constant flow ventricular infusion test: a simple and useful study in the diagnosis of third ventriculostomy failure. J Neurosurg. 116(2) pp. 445-52.  

Aquilina, K., Thoresen, M., Chakkarapani, E., Pople, I.K., Coakham, H.B., Edwards, R.J., 2011. Preliminary evaluation of a novel intraparenchymal capacitive intracranial pressure monitor. J Neurosurg. 115(3) pp. 561-9. . 

Whitelaw, A. and Aquilina, K., 2012. Management of posthaemorrhagic ventricular dilatation. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal. 97(3) pp. 229-3.  

Aquilina, K., Chakkarapani, E., Love, S., Thoresen, M., 2011. Neonatal rat model of intraventricular haemorrhage and post-haemorrhagic ventricular dilatation with long-term survival into adulthood. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 37(2) pp.156-65.  

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