Brain Science Advances


ventriculoperitoneal shunt, distal catheter, migration, hydrocephalus


A ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is a medical device used to deflect cerebrospinal fluid from cerebral ventricles to the peritoneal cavity. Since 1908, ventriculoperitoneal shunts have been considered the best option in hydrocephalus management. Manifestation related to VPS may arise anywhere whilst tunneling the VPS from the ventricle to the peritoneal cavity, but complications associated with the distal catheter are especially common and a leading cause of revision surgeries. Among the many complications associated with peritoneal shunts, migration of the catheter into other parts of the body is still common. Scrotal migration mainly takes place in children aged 4 days to 5 years. Patent processus vaginalis, formation of an inguinal hernia, and increased intraabdominal pressure are leading risk factors associated with migration of the peritoneal catheter into the scrotum. Thoracic migration of peritoneal catheters predominantly occurs in adult patients. Important mechanisms in thoracic migration include (1) iatrogenic perforation of the external or internal jugular veins by the surgeon during tunneling and (2) gradual destruction of the venous structures by the catheter due to routine extension and flexion of the neck. After entering the vessel, negative intrathoracic pressure combined with positive intraabdominal pressure aids migration into the thoracic cavity. Sharp tips or shunt types contribute to intraabdominal migration and perforation.


Tsinghua University Press