Ventriculoatrial shunting is an alternative option for the diversion of CSF and relief of hydrocephalus. In this technique, the distal catheter is placed in the right atrium or even in the superior vena cava 1-2.
It is not the only alternative for the traditional ventriculoperitoneal shunt, and other options include ventriculopleural, ventriculovesical, and ventriculo-gallbladder shunts. These alternatives are mainly used when there are contraindications to or a persistently failing ventriculoperitoneal shunting, which is usually the first option due to its easy insertion.
Pulmonary embolism and endocarditis have been reported as possible complications related with ventriculoatrial shunts. However, a recent study showed that there are no significant differences in complication rates between ventriculoatrial and ventriculoperitoneal shunting in elderly patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus 3.
- 1. Ginat D, Westesson PA. Atlas of Postsurgical Neuroradiology. Springer. (2012) ISBN:3642158277. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
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- 3. McGovern RA, Kelly KM, Chan AK et-al. Should ventriculoatrial shunting be the procedure of choice for normal-pressure hydrocephalus?. J. Neurosurg. 2014;120 (6): 1458-64. doi:10.3171/2014.1.JNS131808 - Pubmed citation