Ventriculopleural shunt

Case contributed by Jerry Jiang


Disseminated cocci with CNS involvement complicated by hydrocephalus.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Annotated images

A cerebral shunt is seen tunneling within subcutaneous soft tissue and terminating in the right upper chest (orange arrow). Fluid layering is present in the right lung base consistent with a pleural effusion (blue arrows). 

Case Discussion

Cerebral shunts are used to relieve intracranial pressure from hydrocephalus. Most shunts terminate in the peritoneum, however, other alternative destinations include the pleura, right atrium, or gallbladder. Causes of ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement requiring conversion include intraabdominal infection, peritonitis, pseudocyst formation, or obstruction. Complications of ventriculopleural shunts include pleural effusion and pneumothorax. 


This case was submitted with supervision and input from:

Soni C. Chawla, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Radiological Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center 

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Case information

rID: 69691
Published: 25th Jul 2019
Last edited: 13th Sep 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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