The Complication for Ventricular Shunt Based on Different Etiologies: A Prospective Study in Tehran, Iran

Mohammad Vafaee Shahi1, Samileh Noorbakhsh2, *, Sarvenaz Ashouri3, Leila Tahernia4, Maryam Raghami Derakhshani1
1 Departement of Pediatric, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Departement of Pediatric Infectious Diseases & Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 ENT and Head and Neck Research Center and Department, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Departement of Pediatric, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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Creative Commons License
© 2018 Shahi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departement of Pediatric Infectious Diseases & Research center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, 4th floor Rasul Akram Hospital, Niayesh Street, Satarkhan Avenue, Tehran, Iran; Tel: 098-21-66525328; E-mail:



The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare complications caused by VP shunt (based on imaging changes, clinical and laboratory findings) in children with congenital (intrauterine) infections, referred to as TORCH, in contrast to other causes of Shunt insertion in children.

Materials and Methods:

In this cross-sectional, observational and descriptive study, 68 hospitalized patients in Rasool-Akram Hospital were selected using convenience method during 2 years from 2013 to August, 2016. Clinical examination and organ involvement were determined. Blood sampling, serological and complementary tests were performed to determine the type of infection, cause and duration of shunt insertion, mechanical and infectious complications (meningitis and peritonitis), the course of the disease and finally, mortality and morbidity. All data were collected in questionnaires. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS-24 version software. The comparison was carried out between two groups of infectious and noninfectious causes. P-value less than 5.5 was considered significant.


From total 68 children with VP shunt, 13 patients died (including 8 males and 5 females with a mean age of 69.41 ± 81.57 months-old). The main cause of shunt insertion was infection in 4 patients and tumor, cerebral hemorrhage and myelomeningocele in 9 other children. Shunt-induced meningitis and peritonitis were detected in 92% and 7.7% respectively. The leading causes of shunt insertion In remaining 47 live children (including 27 males and 19 females with a mean age of 63 +83 months) were infectious in 28% and noninfectious in the rest of cases. The shunt mechanical complications were reported in 8.7% (4 patients). Fever was detected in 33% of patients. Positive blood culture and cerebrospinal fluid were reported in 6.8% and 8.5% of patients in that order, but meningitis was detected in 26% (12 cases) and peritonitis in 10.9% (5 cases). Although, there were no significant differences between two groups in terms of mechanical complications such as shunt obstruction, cerebral hemorrhage ;but, a considerable difference was reported in death rate due to shunt insertion between two groups with infectious and noninfectious origin. The risk of shunt-induced meningitis was clearly higher in group with infectious origin. (P-value = 0.05). But peritonitis risk was not different.


VP shunt complications were observed in one-quarter of children, but mechanical complications of VP shunt were uncommon (8% in live patients). VP shunt mortality was relatively high (13 patients from total 68), and occurred more often in patients with non-infectious causes of VP shunt, mainly due to meningitis. Shunt meningitis was very common In patients with infectious origin. Shunt infection in patients (meningitis, bacteremia and peritonitis) was common and could increase mortality if not controlled. Prescribing antibiotics is not recommended without initial diagnostic measures (such as spinal fluid puncture, ascites, and proper imaging) because it will result in incomplete and improper treatments.

Keywords: Complications, Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt, Children, CSF, Rubella infection, Shunt complications.