Ventriculoperitoneal shunt disconnection
Suspect with Undershunting.
see Shunt evaluation.
Shunt catheters that migrate peritoneally bring the possibility of visceral injury, predominantly perforation of the bowel. These disconnected or fractured shunts can be revised by substituting or reconnecting the components, or by replacing the whole shunt system. In the modern era, the laparoscopic retrieval of migrated shunt catheters can be done safely, either as an emergency or an elective process 3).
A 5-year-old boy with a right-sided ventriculoperitoneal shunt presented with a 3-month history of progressively enlarging subperiosteal fluid collection in the scalp, which started in the right parietal region and had spread and extended across the midline to occupy both parietal regions. There were no changes in symptoms or signs from those observed 3 months previously. A CT scan confirmed the collection of fluid under the scalp over both parietal regions. The peritoneal catheter was found to be disconnected from the distal end of the functioning valve, which drained cerebrospinal fluid into the subperiosteal space. Distention of the parietal subperiosteal space led to stretching and tearing of the emissary veins. This resulted in the formation of a hydrohematocele. The spread of fluid to the opposite parietal region may be due to a disorganized and loose attachment of the periosteum to the widely separated sagittal suture 4).
An 8-year-old boy with a right VP shunt was referred because of progressive loss of consciousness in the morning. A CT scan of the head established moderate hydrocephalus. A shunt series presented a disconnection of the distal tube of the shunt as the distal part was free in the abdominal cavity. The patient experienced a complete shunt revision. The abdominal incision was revived and the tube removed from the abdominal cavity gently. The patient was discharged 72 h later 5).