Failure of cerebrospinal fluid shunts: part I: Obstruction and mechanical failure

Pediatr Neurol. 2006 Feb;34(2):83-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2005.05.020.


Ventricular shunts are commonly employed to treat children with hydrocephalus. Complications from shunts are common and can present with a variety of signs and symptoms. This pair of reviews discusses the common findings in patients with shunt malfunction, including physical examination and imaging findings. Part I of the series discusses obstruction and mechanical failure of shunts; Part II discusses overdrainage, loculation, and abdominal complications of shunts. An understanding of the presentation and etiology of shunt dysfunction is critical for neurologists and pediatricians who often are the first to evaluate and triage these children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / adverse effects*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications*