Ventriculoperitoneal shunt malfunction from cerebrospinal fluid eosinophilia in children: Case-based update

R. Shane Tubbs, Mitchel Muhleman, Marios Loukas, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Malfunction of cerebrospinal shunts is common and is due to multiple etiologies ranging from obstruction due to infiltrated brain tissue to mechanical disconnection. Discussion: We review the differential diagnosis and recommended evaluation and treatment for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) eosinophilia. Illustrative case: We report a child who, following the use of an antibiotics-impregnated ventricular catheter, developed sterile ventriculoperitoneal shunt malfunction thought to be due to profound CSF eosinophilia. Following removal of the catheter, the eosinophilia spontaneously resolved, and at long-term follow up, the patient has a functioning non-antibiotic impregnated shunt catheter. Conclusions: Patients presenting with signs of shunt malfunction but without signs of CSF infection and with a raised CSF eosinophilia should be suspicious for cellular obstruction of their shunt system, i.e., sterile shunt malfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-348
Number of pages4
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Complications
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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