Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Complications

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Complications

see External ventricular drainage complications

see also Cerebrospinal fluid shunt complications.


Ventriculoperitoneal shunt is the most common treatment to manage hydrocephalus; It is unfortunately burdened by up to 25% of complications. The peritoneal approach may expose patients to many complications.

Patients with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt tend to develop epidural fluid accumulation after cranioplasty and also have a higher frequency of syndrome of the trephined after bone flap removal. Thus treatment of patients with postcranioplasty infection and a VP shunt is often challenging.

The management of ventriculoperitoneal shunt complication or failure is a common problem in neurosurgical practice. On occasion, extraperitoneal sites for CSF diversion are required when shunting to the peritoneal cavity has failed after multiple attempts.

Complications frequently associated with a VP shunt: includes shunt obstruction, infection, overdrainage of CSF, and perforation of the gastrointestinal tract, gallbladder, vagina, and abdominal wall at the umbilicus… 1).

Despite procedural and equipment advances, the procedure it is accompanied by frequent complications and malfunctions. Some studies have shown an overall shunt failure rate as high as 59%, with the majority of failures occurring within the first 6 months after shunt placement 2).

Endoscopic placement of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt catheters in pediatric patients has been increasingly used in an attempt to minimize the unacceptably high rates of revision. Although this procedure carries an increased expense, there is currently no evidence to support an improved long-term outcome.

Endoscopic assisted ventricular catheter placement decreased the odds of proximal obstruction but failed to improve overall shunt survival in a 6 year experience 3).

The evaluation of children with suspected ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) malfunction has evolved into a diagnostic dilemma. This patient population is vulnerable not only to the medical risks of hydrocephalus and surgical complications but also to silent but harmful effects of ionizing radiation secondary to imaging used to evaluate shunt efficacy and patency. The combination of increased medical awareness regarding ionizing radiation and public concern has generated desire to reduce the reliance on head computed tomography (CT) for the evaluation of VPS malfunction. Many centers have started to investigate the utility of low dose computed tomography and alternatives, such as fast magnetic resonance imaging for the investigation of VP shunt malfunction in order to keep radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable.

A pilot study demonstrates that utilization of limited head CT scan in the evaluation of children with suspected VP shunt malfunction is a feasible strategy for the evaluation of the ventricular size 4).

In the study of Afat et al., low-dose computed tomography (LD-CT) provides excellent sensitivity and higher diagnostic confidence with lower radiation exposure compared with radiographic shunt series (SS) 5).

see Ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection.

Ventriculitis

Intraventricular administration of proper antibiotics is a reliable and effective way to treat ventriculitis associated with ventriculoperitoneal shunts.

Vancomycin is the preferred antibiotic for ventriculitis, but other kind(s) of some antibiotics are necessary in a few patients in addition to or instead of vancomycin 6).

see Ventriculoperitoneal shunt overdrainage

see Ventriculoperitoneal shunt obstruction

see Shunt calcification

see Ventriculoperitoneal shunt abdominal complications.

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt complications have rarely been attributed to silicone allergy, with only a handful of cases reported in literature. The classic presentation of allergy to silicone ventriculoperitoneal shunt, i.e., abdominal pain with recurrent skin breakdown along the shunt tract, is nonspecific and difficult to distinguish clinically from other causes of shunt-related symptoms. It can be diagnosed by detection of antisilicone antibodies and is treated with removal of the shunt and replacement, if needed, with a polyurethane shunt system.

Kurin et al. report the first case of suspected silicone allergy presenting as clinical peritonitis without overt colonic perforation 7).


Progression of Normal-Tension Glaucoma 8).

Merkler et al., performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients hospitalized at the time of their first recorded procedure code for VPS surgery between 2005 and 2012 at nonfederal acute care hospitals in California, Florida, and New York. We excluded patients who during the index hospitalization for VPS surgery had concomitant codes for VPS revision, CNS infection, or died during the index hospitalization. Patients were followed for the primary outcome of a VPS complication, defined as the composite of CNS infection or VPS revision. Survival statistics were used to calculate the cumulative rate and incidence rate of VPS complications.

17,035 patients underwent VPS surgery. During a mean follow-up of 3.9 (±1.8) years, at least one VPS complication occurred in 23.8% (95% CI, 22.9-24.7%) of patients. The cumulative rate of CNS infection was 6.1% (95% CI, 5.7-6.5%) and of VPS revision 22.0% (95% CI, 21.1-22.9%). The majority of complications occurred within the first year of hospitalization for VPS surgery. Complication rates were 21.3 (95% CI, 20.6-22.1) complications per 100 patients per year in the first year after VPS surgery, 5.7 (95% CI, 5.3-6.1) in the second year after VPS surgery, and 2.5 (95% CI, 2.1-3.0) in the fifth year after VPS surgery.

Complications are not infrequent following VPS surgery; however, the majority of complications appear to be clustered in the first year following VPS insertion 9).

2015

A extremely rare and potentially severe complication of vesical calculi formation on the slit valves of distal end of VP shunt which erosively migrated into the urinary bladder. Suprapubic cystolithotomy performed, peritoneal end of the tube found to be eroding and entering into the bladder with two calculi firmly stuck to slit valves in the distal end of the tubing were removed. Shunt was functional, therefore, it was pulled out and repositioned on the superior aspect of the liver; the urinary bladder was repaired. Patient did well postoperatively. This complication was revealed 1.5 years after the shunt was implanted. Although there were symptoms of dysuria and dribbling of urine of short duration, the patient did not show obvious peritoneal signs; suggesting that, penetration of a VP shunt into the urinary bladder can remain asymptomatic for a long period of time, disclosed late and can lead to considerable morbidity. Careful follow-up is important and management should be individualized 10).

2009

An unusual case of perforation of the distal end of the VP shunt into the bladder, with vesical calculus formation 11).

2002

A bladder stone formed secondary to the erosion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt through a normal bladder wall 12).


1)

Blount JP, Campbell JA, Haines SJ. Complications in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid shunting. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 1993;4:633–56.
2)

Reddy GK, Bollam P, Shi R, Guthikonda B, Nanda A. Management of adult hydrocephalus with ventriculoperitoneal shunts: long-term single-institution experience. Neurosurgery. 2011;69(4):774–781.
3)

Villavicencio AT, Leveque JC, McGirt MJ, Hopkins JS, Fuchs HE, George TM. Comparison of revision rates following endoscopically versus nonendoscopically placed ventricular shunt catheters. Surg Neurol. 2003 May;59(5):375-9; discussion 379-80. PubMed PMID: 12765808.
4)

Park DB, Hill JG, Thacker PG, Rumboldt Z, Huda W, Ashley B, Hulsey T, Russell WS. The Role of Limited Head Computed Tomography in the Evaluation of Pediatric Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Malfunction. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27299297.
5)

Afat S, Pjontek R, Hamou HA, Herz K, Nikoubashman O, Bamberg F, Brockmann MA, Nikolaou K, Clusmann H, Wiesmann M, Othman AE. Imaging of Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Complications: Comparison of Whole Body Low-Dose Computed Tomography and Radiographic Shunt Series. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2016 Aug 16. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27529684.
6)

Li XY, Wang ZC, Li YP, Ma ZY, Yang J, Cao EC. [Study on treatment strategy for ventriculitis associated with ventriculoperitoneal shunt for hydrocephalus]. Zhongguo Wei Zhong Bing Ji Jiu Yi Xue. 2005 Sep;17(9):558-60. Chinese. PubMed PMID: 16146606.
7)

Kurin M, Lee K, Gardner P, Fajt M, Umapathy C, Fasanella K. Clinical peritonitis from allergy to silicone ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Clin J Gastroenterol. 2017 Mar 6. doi: 10.1007/s12328-017-0729-0. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28265895.
8)

Chen BH, Drucker MD, Louis KM, Richards DW. Progression of Normal-Tension Glaucoma After Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt to Decrease Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure. J Glaucoma. 2014 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25350819.
9)

Merkler AE, Ch’ang J, Parker WE, Murthy SB, Kamel H. The Rate of Complications after Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Surgery. World Neurosurg. 2016 Nov 5. pii: S1878-8750(16)31137-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.10.136. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27826086.
10)

Gupta R, Dagla R, Agrawal LD, Sharma P. Vesical calculi formation on the slit valves of a migrated distal end of ventriculoperitoneal shunt. J Pediatr Neurosci. 2015 Oct-Dec;10(4):368-70. doi: 10.4103/1817-1745.174444. PubMed PMID: 26962346.
11)

Ramana Murthy KV, Jayaram Reddy S, Prasad DV. Perforation of the distal end of the ventriculoperitoneal shunt into the bladder with calculus formation. Pediatr Neurosurg. 2009;45(1):53-5. doi: 10.1159/000204904. Epub 2009 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 19258730.
12)

Eichel L, Allende R, Mevorach RA, Hulbert WC, Rabinowitz R. Bladder calculus formation and urinary retention secondary to perforation of a normal bladder by a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Urology. 2002 Aug;60(2):344. PubMed PMID: 12137842.

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation

https://kbnf.org/

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF) is a Canada based charity enhancing the delivery of quality brain and spinal medical care in West Africa and beyond. The vision is to alleviate the suffering of West Africans with a special focus on those affected by diseases of the brain and spine, and to address related health care issues.


KBNF has been working with the Liberian Government since 2014 to develop its neurosurgery capacity, but the program is still in its infancy suffering setbacks from Ebola, lack of trained medical professionals across all disciplines, and extremely limited resources. KBNF works to address these deficits with shipments of equipment and supplies and annual medical missions.

Liberia recently employed the first neurosurgeon in the country‘s history. In a country with a population of 4.7 million people and staggering rates of cranial and spine trauma, as well as hydrocephalus and neural tube defects, neurosurgery is considered a luxury. A study documents the experience of a team of neurosurgeons, critical care nurses, scrub technicians, nurses, and Biomedical engineering who carried out a series of neurosurgical clinics and complex brain and spine surgeries in Liberia. Specifically, Bowen et al. aimed to highlight some of the larger obstacles, beyond staff and equipment, facing the development of a neurosurgical or any other specialty practice in Liberia.

The institutions, in collaboration with the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation, spent 10 days in Liberia, based in Tappita, and performed 18 surgeries in addition to seeing several hundred clinic patients. This is a retrospective review of the cases performed along with outcomes to investigate obstacles in providing neurosurgical services in the country.

Before arriving in Liberia, they evaluated, planned, and supplied staff and materials for treating complex neurosurgical patients. Sixteen patients underwent 18 surgeries at a hospital in Tappita, Liberia, in November 2018. Their ages ranged from 1 month to 72 years (average 20 years). Five patients (28%) were female. Ten patients (56%) were under the age of 18. Surgeries included ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VP-shunt), lumbar myelomeningocele repairencephalocele repairlaminectomy, and a craniotomy for tumor resection. Ten patients (55%) underwent VP-shunting. Two patients (11%) had a craniotomy for tumor resection. Three patients (17%) had laminectomy for lumbar stenosis. Two patients (11%) had repair of lumbar myelomeningocele.

After an aggressive and in-depth approach to planning, conducting, and supplying complex neurosurgical procedures in Liberia, the greatest limiting factor to successful outcomes lie in real-time is access to health care, which is largely limited by overall infrastructure. The study documents the experience of a team of neurosurgeons, critical care nurses, scrub technicians, nurses, and biomedical engineers who carried out a series of neurosurgical clinics and complex brain and spine surgeries in Liberia. Specifically, they aimed to highlight some of the larger obstacles, beyond staff and equipment, facing the development of a neurosurgical or any other specialty procedural practice in the country of Liberia. Most notably, they focused on infrastructure factors, including power, roads, water, education, and overall health care 1).


1)

Bowen I, Toor H, Zampella B, Doe A, King C, Miulli DE. Infrastructural Limitations in Establishing Neurosurgical Specialty Services in Liberia. Cureus. 2022 Sep 20;14(9):e29373. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29373. PMID: 36284802; PMCID: PMC9584543.

Cranioplasty for hydrocephalus prevention after decompressive craniectomy

Cranioplasty for hydrocephalus prevention after decompressive craniectomy

After decompressive craniectomy, the occurrence of hydrocephalus is reported with varying incidences (10–45%) mainly due to differences in diagnostic criteria 1) 2) 3) 4).

The management of Hydrocephalus after decompressive craniectomy in need of cranial reconstruction can be challenging and thus is not precisely defined. The debate mainly revolves around the timing of cerebrospinal fluid shunt with respect to the cranioplasty 5).


To prevent decompressive craniectomy complications, such as sinking skin flap syndrome, studies suggested early cranioplasty (CP). However, several groups reported higher complication rates in early CP. In a single-center observational cohort, study cranioplasty has high complication rates, 23%. Contrary to recent systematic reviews, early CP was associated with more complications (41%), explained by the higher incidence of pre-CP CSF flow disturbance and acute subdural hematoma as etiology of DC. CP in such patients should therefore be performed with the highest caution. 6).


Delayed time to cranioplasty is linked with the development of persistent hydrocephalus, necessitating permanent CSF diversion in some patients. Waziri et al., propose that early cranioplasty, when possible, may restore normal intracranial pressure dynamics and prevent the need for permanent CSF diversion 7).


Ozoner et al. showed that early cranioplasty within 2 months after decompressive craniectomy was associated with a lower rate of posttraumatic hydrocephalus 8)


The goal of the study of Sethi et al. was to ascertain the efficacysafety, and comparability of ultra-early cranioplasty (CP; defined here as <30 days from the original craniectomy) to conventional cranioplasty (defined here as >30 days from the original craniectomy). A retrospective review of CPs performed between January 2016 and July 2020 was performed. Craniectomies initially performed at other institutions were excluded. Seventy-seven CPs were included in the study. Ultra-early CP was defined as CP performed within 30 days of craniectomy whereas conventional CP occurred after 30 days. Post-operative wound infection rates, rate of return to the operating room (OR) with or without bone flap removal, operative length, and rate of post-CP hydrocephalus were compared between the two groups. Thirty-nine and 38 patients were included in the ultra-early and conventional CP groups, respectively. The average number of days to CP in the ultra-early group was 17.70 ± 7.75 days compared to 95.70 ± 65.60 days in the conventional group. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale upon arrival to the emergency room was 7.28 ± 3.90 and 6.92 ± 4.14 for the ultra-early and conventional groups, respectively. The operative time was shorter in the ultra-early cohort than that in the conventional cohort (ultra-early, 2.40 ± 0.71 h; conventional, 3.00 ± 1.63 h; p = 0.0336). The incidence of post-CP hydrocephalus was also lower in the ultra-early cohort (ultra-early, 10.3%; conventional, 31.6%; p = 0.026). No statistically significant differences were observed regarding post-operative infection, return to the OR, or bone flap removal. The study shows that ultra-early CP can significantly reduce the rate of post-CP hydrocephalus, as well as operative time in comparison to conventional CP. However, the timing of CP post-DC should remain a patient-centered consideration 9).


1)

De Bonis P, Pompucci A, Mangiola A, Rigante L, Anile C. Post-traumatic hydrocephalus after decompressive craniectomy: an underestimated risk factor. J Neurotrauma. (2010) 27:1965–70. 10.1089/neu.2010.1425
2)

Cooper DJ, Rosenfeld JV, Murray L, Arabi YM, Davies AR, D’Urso P, et al.. Decompressive craniectomy in diffuse traumatic brain injury. N Engl J Med. (2011) 364:1493–502. 10.1056/NEJMoa1102077
3)

Honeybul S, Ho KM. Incidence and risk factors for post-traumatic hydrocephalus following decompressive craniectomy for intractable intracranial hypertension and evacuation of mass lesions. J Neurotrauma. (2012) 29:1872–8. 10.1089/neu.2012.2356
4)

Takeuchi S, Takasato Y, Masaoka H, Hayakawa T, Yatsushige H, Nagatani K, et al.. Hydrocephalus following decompressive craniectomy for ischemic stroke. Acta Neurochir Suppl. (2013) 118:289–91. 10.1007/978-3-7091-1434-6_56
5)

Iaccarino C, Kolias AG, Roumy LG, Fountas K, Adeleye AO. Cranioplasty Following Decompressive Craniectomy. Front Neurol. 2020 Jan 29;10:1357. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01357. PMID: 32063880; PMCID: PMC7000464.
6)

Goedemans T, Verbaan D, van der Veer O, Bot M, Post R, Hoogmoed J, Lequin MB, Buis DR, Vandertop WP, Coert BA, van den Munckhof P. Complications in cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy: timing of the intervention. J Neurol. 2020 May;267(5):1312-1320. doi: 10.1007/s00415-020-09695-6. Epub 2020 Jan 17. PMID: 31953606; PMCID: PMC7184041.
7)

Waziri A, Fusco D, Mayer SA, McKhann GM 2nd, Connolly ES Jr. Postoperative hydrocephalus in patients undergoing decompressive hemicraniectomy for ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Neurosurgery. 2007 Sep;61(3):489-93; discussion 493-4. PubMed PMID: 17881960.
8)

Ozoner B, Kilic M, Aydin L, Aydin S, Arslan YK, Musluman AM, Yilmaz A. Early cranioplasty associated with a lower rate of post-traumatic hydrocephalus after decompressive craniectomy for traumatic brain injury. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2020 Aug;46(4):919-926. doi: 10.1007/s00068-020-01409-x. Epub 2020 Jun 3. PMID: 32494837.
9)

Sethi A, Chee K, Kaakani A, Beauchamp K, Kang J. Ultra-Early Cranioplasty versus Conventional Cranioplasty: A Retrospective Cohort Study at an Academic Level 1 Trauma Center. Neurotrauma Rep. 2022 Aug 1;3(1):286-291. doi: 10.1089/neur.2022.0026. PMID: 36060455; PMCID: PMC9438438.
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