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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-117

Transanal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt catheter

Department of Neurosurgery, GSL Medical College, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication21-May-2013

Correspondence Address:
Kumar Phani
M.Ch 80-26-10, A-3, Heritage Residency, A.V. Apparao Road, Rajahmundry - 533103, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-8632.112336

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Ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunting used in the treatment for hydrocephalus is associated with several complications. Bowel perforation is an unusual, but serious complication of VP shunting. We report the case of a 9-month-old girl who presented with transanal protrusion of VP shunt catheter. The shunt catheter was removed and a fresh VP shunt was inserted on the opposite side. Presently, the child is doing well on follow-up.

Keywords: Anal protrusion, bowel perforation, hydrocephalus, ventriculo-peritoneal shunt

How to cite this article:
Phani K. Transanal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt catheter. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2013;2:115-7

How to cite this URL:
Phani K. Transanal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt catheter. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jan 29];2:115-7. Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2013/2/2/115/112336

  Introduction Top

Ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunting used in the treatment for hydrocephalus is associated with several complications with a reported incidence of 5-47% of cases. [1] Bowel perforation with protrusion of VP shunt catheter from anus is reported to occur in <0.1-0.7% of cases. [2] Perforation occurs mostly without peritonitis. Here, we report a case of transanal protrusion of VP shunt catheter with a review of pertinent literature.

  Case Reports Top

A 9-month-old female child had undergone a left-sided VP shunt (Chhabra-slit-in-spring silicone shunt) procedure 7 months back for congenital hydrocephalus. She presented to us with complaints of protrusion of a white tube per anus on defecation for past 2 days with clear fluid dripping from it [Figure 1]. On examination, the child was afebrile, alert, and had no neck rigidity, and the abdomen was soft. On rectal examination, there was a white tube coming from beyond the reach of finger. Total leukocyte count was 9200/mm 3 . X-ray of the abdomen showed the course of the shunt tube toward the rectum and anal opening and did not reveal any evidence of gas under diaphragm [Figure 2]. The child was operated and the cranial end was removed through a small incision behind the ear. The distal tube was extracted per rectum. The proximal tube was cultured and was found to be sterile. A revision shunt was done on the right side within 7 days. The child was asymptomatic at 2 months follow-up.
Figure 1: Shunt catheter protruding out of anal orifi ce

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Figure 2: X-ray of abdomen, erect view showing outline of shunt catheter in the rectal and anal regions

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  Discussion Top

VP shunting is among the most frequently performed operations in the management of hydrocephalus, but with a good share of its complications. On an average, each patient operated is likely to have 2-3 operations throughout their childhood for shunt revision. About 80% of the shunts develop complication at some stage. One-third of these complications occur with in the first year of shunt placement. [3] Migration of distal end of the tube, fibrous encasement of the distal end, kinking, or blockade of the distal end, protrusion of part of shunt through the surgical wound, failure of peritoneal absorption of diverted cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with resultant ascites and infection are some of the common forms of complications encountered. Visceral perforation is an unusual but serious complication of VP shunting with a reported mortality of upto 15%. Non-enteric viscus perforation has been sporadically reported in literature and includes urinary bladder, vagina, gallbladder, stomach, scrotum, liver, uterus, and urethra. [4],[5],[6],[7] The bowel, however, is the most commonly involved site for perforation and is reported to occur in <0.1-0.7% of cases. [2] A search of the literature revealed a total of 94 patients who had bowel perforation with >49 cases reported in the age group 0-10 years. [8] The above stated count of cases excludes our reported case. Sigmoid and transverse colon followed by stomach are the most frequent sites of gastrointestinal perforations by VP shunts. Of these 94 patients who had bowel perforation, the shunt catheter protruded through the anus in only 55. The interval between shunt insertion to protrusion of catheter from anus ranges from 2 to 20 months with an average of 6.1 months. Peritonitis was found in 7.45%, meningitis in 12.8%, and both the entities together in 3.2% following perforation. [9] Our patient did not have any peritonitis or meningitis.

The possible factors responsible for perforation are thin bowel wall in children, sharp and stiff end of the VP shunt, [10],[11] use of trocar by operating surgeons, [12] chronic irritation by the shunt, [13] previous surgery, infection, and silicone allergy. [14] The perforation of the bowel lumen occurs when the shunt tip gets adherent to the serosa of the bowel wall and the continuous water hammer effect of the CSF pulsations sets in a slow drilling mechanism into play. Once the tip of the shunt catheter perforates and makes its entry into the bowel lumen, the peristaltic waves carry forward the long leftover tube in the peritoneal cavity through the entire length of the bowel distally, eventually extruding it through the anal opening. Spillage of the bowel contents into the peritoneal cavity with resulting peritonitis following the removal of the shunt tubing is usually not seen due to the fibrous tract around the catheter, which is attached to the bowel wall.

The management of these patients depends on the clinical presentation. Asymptomatic cases that predominate will need a simple removal of the complete shunt tubing, followed by a fresh surgery at an appropriate time as was done in our case. Presence of meningitis will necessitate the exteriorization of the proximal end with removal of the distal end. Presence of peritonitis will mandate the exteriorization of the proximal end along with an exploratory laparotomy for treating the bowel perforation. [15]

  Conclusion Top

Anal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt is an uncommon, but well-documented entity. The presentation may be without any symptoms or may be with meningitis and peritonitis. In a patient with simple bowel perforation and no other complications, a formal laparotomy is not required, while presence of peritonitis will necessitate an urgent laparotomy. If detected on time and managed properly, the results are good.

  References Top

1.Acharya R, Ramachandran CS, Singh S. Laparoscopic management of abdominal complications inventricul operitoneal shuntsurgery. JL aparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A 2001;11:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Ferreira PR, Bizzi JJ, Amantea SL. Protrusion of ventricul operitoneal shunt catheter through the analorifice. Arare abdominal complication. JP ediatr Surg 2005;40:1509-10.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Oktem IS, Akdemir H, Koc K, Menku A, Tucer B, Selcuklu A, et al. Migration of abdominal catheter of ventriculoperitoneal shunt into scrotum. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1998;140:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ueda Y, Kakino S, Hashimoto O, Imoto K. Perforation of the bladder by aperitoneal catheter: Anunusuallate complication of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. No Shinkei Geka 1998;26:413-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Wani AA, Ramzan A, Wani MA. Protrusionofaperitoneal catheter throughthe umbilicus: An unusual complication ofa ventricul operitoneal shunt. Pediatr Surg Int 2002;18:171-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.NourisamieK, Vyas P, Swanson KF. Two unusual complications of ventricul operitoneal shunt sinthesameinfant. Pediatr Radiol 2001;31:814-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Chan Y, Datta NN, Chan KY, Rehman SU, Poon CY, Kwok JC. Extrusion of the peritoneal catheter of a VP shunt system through a gastrosto my wound. Surg Neurol 2003;60:68-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Hai A, Rab AZ, Ghani I, Huda MF, Quadir AQ. Perforation into gut by ventriculoperitoneal shunts: A report of two cases and review of the literature. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2011;16:31-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
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9.Ghritlaharey RK, Budhwani KS, Shrivastava DK, Gupta G, Kushwaha AS, Chanchlani R, et al. Transanal protrusion of VP shunt catheter with silent bowel perforation: Report of ten cases in children. Pediatr Surg Int 2007;23:575-80.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Park CK, Wang KC, Seo JK, Cho BK. Transoral protrusion of a peritoneal catheter: A case report and literature review. Childs Nerv Syst 2000;16:184-93.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Adeloye A. Protrusion of ventriculo peritoneal shunt through the anus: Report of two cases. East Afr Med J 1997;74:337-9.   Back to cited text no. 11
12.Nebi Y, Nejmi K, Cahide Y, Hüseyin C, Sevil AY. Anal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt catheter: Report of two infants. J Pediatr Neurol 2004;2:241-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Jamjoom AB, Rawlinson JN, Kirkpatrick JN. Passage of tube per rectum: An unusual complication of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Br J Clin Pract 1990;44:525-6.   Back to cited text no. 13
14.Brownlee JD, Brodkey JS, Schaefer IK. Colonic Perforation by ventriculo peritoneal shunt tubing: A case of suspected silicone allergy. Surg Neurol 1998;49:21-4.   Back to cited text no. 14
15.Ozturk H, Is M, Ozturk H, Kucuk A, Dosoglu M. Transanal protrusion of a ventricul operitoneal shunt catheter. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2012;22:733-4.  Back to cited text no. 15


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

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2 Ventriculoperitoneal shunt perforations of the gastrointestinal tract
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