hydrocephalus and ventriculoperitoneal shunt

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Hydrocephalus is an excessive volume of CSF within the cranium – importance of this is that most babies born with spina bifida have hydrocephalus. If hydrocephalus is left untreated and continues to progress it will lead to compression and subsequent damage to developing brain.

A ventriculoperitoneal shunt is a device which is inserted to drain excess CSF from ventricles into peritoneal cavity preventing pressure on the brain

There are several different types of shunts that can be used to drain the fluid to different parts of the body, but the ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which drains the fluid into the peritoneal cavity is the most common shunt used. It involves the placement of a ventricular catheter (a tube made of silastic), into the cerebral ventricles to bypass the flow obstruction/malfunctioning arachnoidal granulations and drain the excess fluid into the peritoneal cavity, from where it can be resorbed.

Alternative shunts include those that drain to the right atrium (ventriculo-atrial shunt), pleural cavity (ventriculo-pleural shunt), and gallbladder. A shunt system can also be placed in the lumbar space of the spine and have the CSF redirected to the peritoneal cavity (LP Shunt).

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~ by pcl4 on October 16, 2008.

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