Selection of cranial site for shunting debilitated patients

A. T. Kouyialis, G. Stranjalis, E. J. Boviatsis, S. Korfias, D. E. Sakas

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Background-objective. The optimum cranial site for ventricular catheter insertion in CSF shunts is still under debate and there has been no general consensus as far as surgical technicalities are concerned. Furthermore, there have been no reports dealing with appropriate cranial site selection in debilitated patients. The aim of this report is to stress the need to utilize a frontal approach when dealing with patients who are likely to remain bed-bound for long periods and to emphasize the well-known prerequisites such as meticulous surgical technique and perioperative general and local care. Method. A retrospective analysis of all shunt operations and revisions performed in our department during the last 6 years. Findings. This analysis revealed 8 long-term recumbent patients with late valve extrusion (N1 = 5) or primary wound breakdown (N2 = 3), all through the occipital area. Extended periods of bed rest due to neurological disease combined with poor nursing and dietary intake had led to either chronic valve extrusion or wound breakdown. Shunt revision was performed successfully by a frontal approach in 5 whereas 2 tolerated shunt removal and one died of meningitis. Conclusion. In debilitated patients or those who are likely to remain bed-bound for long periods, a frontal approach for proximal catheter insertion may help prevent immediate postoperative wound breakdown or late valve extrusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-765
Number of pages3
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • CSF shunt
  • Frontal approach
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Valve extrusion

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    Kouyialis, A. T., Stranjalis, G., Boviatsis, E. J., Korfias, S., & Sakas, D. E. (2005). Selection of cranial site for shunting debilitated patients. Acta Neurochirurgica, 147(7), 763-765.