gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Ventriculopleural shunts: a report of 19 cases

Ventrikulopleurale Shunts: Eine Nachuntersuchung von 19 Patienten

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author H. Stegmaier - Städtisches Klinikum München GmbH – Klinikum Bogenhausen, Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, München
  • H.A. Trost - Städtisches Klinikum München GmbH – Klinikum Bogenhausen, Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, München
  • C.B. Lumenta - Städtisches Klinikum München GmbH – Klinikum Bogenhausen, Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, München

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocP 02.13

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Stegmaier et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Ventriculopleural shunts are used as an alternative to ventriculoatrial or ventriculoperitoneal shunts, especially when the peritoneal cavity is not available and the atrium difficult to reach. Typical complications of ventriculopleural shunts are pleural effusion and pneumothorax. In the years 1996 to 2005, 19 patients with hydrocephalus have been treated by ventriculopleural shunt in our department. These cases have recently been reviewed in order to evaluate the efficacy and complication rate of ventriculopleural shunting.

Methods: We reviewed the history and the follow-up of 19 patients, who underwent ventriculopleural shunting procedures from 1996 to 2005 at our service. The indication for this procedure and its complications are analyzed and compared to former studies (Hoffmann et al. 1983, Megison et Benzel 1988, Piatt 1994, Martinez-Lage et al. 2000).

Results: The most common indication for ventriculopleural shunting was peritoneal infection due to a previous ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Pleural effusion occurred twice, pneumothorax was not notified. Unspecific complications were valve disfunction (2), and dislocation of the distal catheter (1), which needed revision surgery. Infection of the distal catheter occurred 4/19, all of them patients, who underwent ventriculopleural shunting as a salvage procedure after several infections of previous ventriculoperitoneal shunts. The complication rate is comparable to former studies.

Conclusions: We state that ventriculopleural shunts are a safe alternative to ventriculoperitoneal shunting. Specific complications are rare compared to unspecific problems.