Ventriculoatrial (VA) shunts remain the most used alternative to ventriculoperitoneal shunts in infants with hydrocephalus. The authors report a case of an acute VA shunt malfunction as a result of distal catheter displacement in an 18-month-old girl with partial anomalous pulmonary venous return. The child presented with respiratory compromise, and a chest radiograph revealed a lung infiltrate and normal position of the distal shunt catheter tip. Computed tomography demonstrated stable ventricle size in comparison with previous studies. As the patient's respiratory distress progressed, she required intubation, mechanical ventilation with high airway pressures and inspired oxygen concentrations, muscle relaxants, and sedation. A routine morning chest radiograph several days after admission revealed displacement of the distal catheter into the left innominate vein. Later that day the child's pupils were noted to be large and unreactive and a distal shunt malfunction was diagnosed. Complications of VA shunts and the presumed mechanism by which the catheter became displaced are discussed.
- Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Shunt malfunction
- Ventriculoatrial shunt
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health