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VP Shunts and Post-Operative Complications Assessed

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis; ePub 2018 Dec 20; Linzey, et al

There is a non-significant trend toward increased post-operative complications in patients with a ventriculoperitoneal/pleural (VP) shunt who underwent a subsequent cranial operation, a recent study found. From a retrospective cohort of patients who underwent cranial operations for management of cerebral aneurysms in 2005-2014, researchers identified patients who previously had a VP shunt placed, determined the temporal relationship between shunt placement and cranial operation, and investigated outcomes in those with and without a shunt. They found:

  • Of 818 patients who underwent cranial operations, 28 (3.4%) had a VP shunt.
  • 4 of these 28 (14.3%) developed post-operative complications, compared to 42 of 790 (5.3%) without a history of VP shunt.
  • In addition, patients with a shunt were more likely to have longer cranial procedures, longer hospital stays, and more computed tomography scans during their craniotomy-associated admission.
  • Multivariate analysis, though not significant, demonstrated that the presence of a shunt contributed to the development of complications.
  • Length of surgery and length of stay were significantly longer in those with a post-operative complication.

Linzey JR, Wilkinson DA, Nadel JL, Thompson BG, Pandey AS. Complications in patients undergoing microsurgical clipping of intracranial aneurysms with pre-existing ventriculoperitoneal shunts following a cranial procedure. [Published online ahead of print December 20, 2018]. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.11.034.