Ventriculoatrial shunt

Last revised by Arlene Campos on 3 May 2024

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 ventriculogallbladder 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 study showed that there are no significant differences in complication rates between ventriculoatrial and ventriculoperitoneal shunting in elderly patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus 3

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