Minimally invasive technique for insertion of ventriculopleural shunt catheters

J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Nov;12(5):501-4. doi: 10.3171/2013.8.PEDS12517. Epub 2013 Sep 6.


Object: Cerebrospinal fluid diversion to the pleural space has employed various methods to insert the distal catheter into the pleural space. The authors report on a minimally invasive method of pleural catheter insertion that they have developed and have used safely in a small series of patients.

Methods: Pleural shunt catheters were inserted using a split trochar into the pleural space (technique described in further detail in the article). All cases over the previous 10 years in which this technique was employed were reviewed from the existing electronic medical records. Patient age at insertion, sex, reason for hydrocephalus, early and late complications, valve type, and follow-up were recorded.

Results: Fourteen shunt procedures performed in 10 patients were identified. Two small pneumothoraces were detected on routine postoperative imaging and required no intervention. There were 3 late mechanical complications, including migration of a catheter out of the pleural space, catheter fracture at the insertion point, and the need for a longer catheter due to the patient's growth.

Conclusions: The authors describe a safe, minimally invasive method for insertion of pleural shunt catheters along with a series of patients who have undergone placement of a pleural shunt catheter using this method without complication directly attributable to the use of this technique.

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catheters
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / adverse effects
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / instrumentation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Migration
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery*
  • Male
  • Pleural Cavity*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Dysraphism / complications