Background and purpose: We report our experience with the lumboperitoneal shunt (LPS) in 195 patients. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess and compare the rate of complications and to discuss 4 indications.
Material and method: Between January 1983 and July 1994, 195 patients including 14 pediatric cases were treated with a LPS. Sex ratio was 1.24. The mean age at insertion was 59.5 years (from 6 months to 88 years) and the follow-up in this series was from 6 months to 12.5 years. The indications for a LPS were: chronic idiopathic hydrocephalus (115 cases), post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (37 cases), cerebrospinal fluid fistula (11 cases), post-traumatic hydrocephalus (9 cases), post-surgical hydrocephalus (8 cases), hydrocephalus of the child (6 cases), post-meningitis hydrocephalus (4 cases), benign intracranial hypertension (4 cases), post-radiotherapy hydrocephalus (1). Forty patients (20.5%) presented with at least one complication. A total of 47 complications were observed: chronic subdural effusion (8 cases), meningitis (10 cases), mechanical failures (28 cases), acquired Chiari abnormality (1 case). Mechanical complications varied with the type of shunt.
Conclusion: Complications of LPS in adults are less frequent than is usually reported after ventricular atrial or peritoneal shunting. In adults, LPS can be used as the first valuable treatment in case of chronic communicating hydrocephalus. LPS is also valuable in the treatment of benign intracranial hypertension or recurrent CSF fistulae. Conversely, in the pediatric cases general and specific complications are frequent, so an indication for LPS must be strictly discussed.