Ventricular gallbladder shunts: An alternative procedure in hydrocephalus

Karen W. West, Mary K. Turner, Dennis W. Vane, Joel Boaz, John Kalsbeck, Jay L. Grosfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Hydrocephalus is a frequently encountered problem in infancy and is most commonly treated by placement of ventriculoperionteal (VP) or ventriculoatrial (VA) shunts. Other sites for insertion of the distal shunt have included the stomach, ureter, and fallopian tube. The report describes an experience with ventricular gallbladder shunts (VGB) in 25 children performed from 1970 to 1985. There were 13 girls and 12 boys ranging in age from 6 months to 16 years. Diagnosis included meningomyelocoele (7), congenital hydrocephalus (7), postmeningitic complications (5), intracranial tumor (4), and intraventricular hemorrhage (2). Indications for operation included VP shunt infection (15), massive ascites following VP shunt (3), VA shunt infection (4), and distal shunt malfunction due to fibrinous adhesions or cysts (secondary to infection;3). Three patients had early shunt failure due to proximal obstruction (2) and gallbladder atony (1). Shunt revision was required in two and the atony was successfully treated with cholecystokinin in one. Fourteen shunts remain in place, two patients have been lost to follow-up, and three children died from unrelated causes. Seventy percent of the 20 patients available for long-term follow-up have functional shunts in place. The VGB shunt procedure remains an attractive alternative for patients with hydrocephalus in whom intraperitoneal and intravascular shunts are no longer feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-612
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1987


  • cholecystokinin
  • Hydrocephalus
  • ventricular gallbladder shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery

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    West, K. W., Turner, M. K., Vane, D. W., Boaz, J., Kalsbeck, J., & Grosfeld, J. L. (1987). Ventricular gallbladder shunts: An alternative procedure in hydrocephalus. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 22(7), 609-612.