Mechanical complications of shunt for hydrocephalus




Hydrocephalus, pediatric neurosurgery, cerebrospinal fluid shunt, mechanical complications


Introduction: Hydrocephalus is the pathology most frequently addressed and studied in pediatric neurosurgery. Over 15,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Although it is the most com-mon procedure performed by pediatric neurosurgeons, the shunt implant for drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) also presents the highest rate of failure and replenishment. The last 50 years have been marked by important advances in quality of these implants. How-ever, little has changed regarding the prevalence of these failures. We will comment here the main mechanical failures of the shunt: disconnection, migration, fracture and scrap-ing of the catheter, hollow visceral perforation and distal catheter knot.

Methods: Literature review about the main causes of mechanical failure in shunts

Conclusion: Shunt dysfunction is still very common, despite technological advances in the treatment of hydrocephalus. Mechanical causes of shunt dysfunction correspond to about 30% of the reasons for changing or overhauling valves. Most of these occur due to surgical problems. Therefore, safe measures reduces these events their clinical features.


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How to Cite

de Melo AS. Mechanical complications of shunt for hydrocephalus. Arch Pediatr Neurosurg [Internet]. 2020 Apr. 1 [cited 2024 May 23];2(1(January-April):44-8. Available from:

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