Shunt Valve Rupture in Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Failure

World Neurosurg. 2021 Jan;145:73-76. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.08.225. Epub 2020 Sep 8.


Background: Shunt complications are common despite advances in surgical techniques and shunting technology. Proximal and/or distal catheter malfunctions are detected in pediatric and adult patients. However, valve dysfunction is rare in such cases.

Case description: A 24-year-old woman presented with a history of ventriculostomy and ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) secondary to hydrocephalus concomitant with Dandy-Walker syndrome. She has had undulant headache and vision loss episodes in both eyes for 15 days. Her VPS valve was normal when manually checked, and the VPS was observed as intact on x-ray and computed tomography scan. She had high-grade papilledema in both eyes with an optical coherence tomography scan value of 55/99. Lumbar puncture was performed. Cerebrospinal fluid opening pressure was 560 mm H2O under sedation. VPS exploration surgery was performed. There was a tiny defect over the shunt valve from where clear cerebrospinal fluid was leaking. We revised the old VPS valve with a new valve of 1.5 regular pressure. Her vision improved shortly after the surgery.

Conclusions: This case is a very rare example of shunt valve dysfunction that required further investigation and a new valve replacement even though the preoperative imaging was normal.

Keywords: Case report; Hydrocephalus; Optical coherence tomography; Shunt failure; Ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / etiology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / complications
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / surgery
  • Equipment Failure*
  • Eye / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / complications
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Recovery of Function
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult