Factors affecting ventriculoperitoneal shunt survival in adult patients

Farid Khan, Abdul Rehman, Muhammad S. Shamim, Muhammad E. Bari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt insertion remains the mainstay of treatment for hydrocephalus despite a high rate of complications. The predictors of shunt malfunction have been studied mostly in pediatric patients. In this study, we report our 11-year experience with VP shunts in adult patients with hydrocephalus. We also assess the various factors affecting shunt survival in a developing country setting. Methods: A retrospective chart analysis was conducted for all adult patients who had undergone shunt placement between the years 2001 and 2011. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to determine the duration from shunt placement to first malfunction and log-rank (Cox-Mantel) tests were used to determine the factors affecting shunt survival. Results: A total of 227 patients aged 18-85 years (mean: 45.8 years) were included in the study. The top four etiologies of hydrocephalus included post-cranial surgery (23.3%), brain tumor or cyst (22.9%), normal pressure hydrocephalus (15%), and intracranial hemorrhage (13.7%). The overall incidence of shunt malfunction was 15.4% with the median time to first shunt failure being 120 days. Etiology of hydrocephalus (P = 0.030) had a significant association with the development of shunt malfunction. Early shunt failure was associated with age (P < 0.001), duration of hospital stay (P < 0.001), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score less than 13 (P = 0.010), excision of brain tumors (P = 0.008), and placement of extra-ventricular drains (P = 0.033). Conclusions: Patients with increased age, prolonged hospital stay, GCS score of less than 13, extra-ventricular drains in situ, or excision of brain tumors were more likely to experience early shunt malfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Cerebrospinal fluid shunt
  • hydrocephalus
  • ventriculoperitoneal shunt


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors affecting ventriculoperitoneal shunt survival in adult patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this