Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Ayush Goel et al.

Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts are a device used to shunt cerebrospinal fluid in the treatment of non-obstructive hydrocephalus.

As the name suggests, a catheter is placed in the ventricle, and another catheter travels under the skin to opens into the peritoneal cavity, both the catheters being connected to each other through a valve. It is the most commonly used type of shunt. Other shunts that have been used are:


Recognised complications include 1,2:

  • shunt malfunction
    • disconnections/breaks (most common in the neck)
    • migration
    • leakage
  • shunt obstruction
  • cerebrospinal pseudocysts
  • sutural diastasis
  • ventriculitis
  • meningitis
  • shunt over drainage and slit-ventricle syndrome
  • intracranial perishunt fluid collection with oedema 3
  • neoplastic metastases
  • pleural effusion
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Article information

rID: 22789
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • VP shunt
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunts

Cases and figures

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    Case 1: VP shunt - 3D surface rendered
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    Case 2: with shunt malfunction
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    Case 3: with hepatic CSF pseudocyst
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    Case 4: discontinous shunt tubing
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    Case 5: programmable shunt
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    Case 6: tube fracture
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