Techniques that decrease or eliminate ionizing radiation for evaluation of ventricular shunts in children with hydrocephalus

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2014 Aug;35(4):365-73. doi: 10.1053/j.sult.2014.05.002. Epub 2014 May 10.


Shunted hydrocephalus in children is a commonly seen diagnosis in hospitals throughout the world and is one of the most common chronic pediatric neurosurgical conditions. These children undergo numerous studies for routine surveillance as well as for evaluation of shunt malfunction, many of which are associated with significant radiation exposure over the child׳s lifetime. It is in the child׳s best interest to minimize the overall exposure to ionizing radiation so as to decrease the chance of the deleterious effects from occurring. The article outlines the epidemiology of ventricular shunt catheters, the typical indications and methods for shunt evaluation, and the preferred alternative imaging methods that eliminate or reduce radiation exposure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Echoencephalography / methods
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation, Ionizing*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods