Intraventricular haemorrhage due to re-ruptured arteriovenous malformation cleared with tissue plasminogen activator administered through a pre-existing ventriculoperitoneal shunt

Br J Neurosurg. 2023 Jun;37(3):460-463. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2019.1661970. Epub 2020 Jan 16.


In the context in intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH), intrathecal thrombolytic agents administered in conjunction with extraventricular drainage have been demonstrated to clear larger volumes of blood and reduce mortality rates. However, patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVM) have been mostly excluded from clinical trials. We describe a patient with hydrocephalus secondary to a ruptured AVM who was treated via external ventriculostomy, which was subsequently converted to a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS). Eight months later, the AVM re-ruptured, causing IVH and rendering the patient comatose. Taking into consideration the patient's poor outlook, a single dose of intraventricular tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) was administered through the shunt reservoir. The shunt maintained its function and the patient's condition ultimately improved. This impressive case demonstrates the utility of t-PA administered through an existing VPS in the setting of IVH due to ruptured AVM, highlighting its lifesaving potential in the appropriate patient and overall decrease in the cost of care by mitigating the need for shunt revision.

Keywords: Arteriovenous malformation; cerebral intraventricular haemorrhage; tissue plasminogen activator; ventriculoperitoneal shunt; ventriculostomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / surgery
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus* / complications
  • Hydrocephalus* / surgery
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt / adverse effects


  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator
  • Fibrinolytic Agents