Child's Nervous System

, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 2095–2098 | Cite as

Intramedullary placement of ventricular shunts: a review of using bone as a distal cerebrospinal absorption site in treating hydrocephalus

  • Mohammad W. Kassem
  • Joshua Chern
  • Marios Loukas
  • R. Shane Tubbs
Review Paper



Intraosseous (IO) vascular access has been used since the Second World War and is warranted when there is an emergency and/or urgent need to replenish the vascular pool. Despite long-term and satisfactory results from delivering large quantities of intravenous fluid via the medullary space of bone, use of this space for a distant receptacle for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion has seldom been considered.


The current paper reviews the literature regarding the bony medullary space as a receptacle for intravenous fluid and CSF.


Previous authors have demonstrated the potential of the diploic space of the calvaria for CSF shunting. Pugh and colleagues tested the ability of the cranium to receive and absorb a small amount of tracer fluid.


The literature suggests that intraosseous placement of ventricular diversionary shunts is an alternative to more traditional sites such as the pleural cavity and peritoneum. When these latter locations are not available or are contraindicated, placement in the medullary space of bone is another option available to the surgeon.


Ventricular shunts Diploic Shunts Ventriculocalvarial Ventriculodiploic Hydrocephalus Spina bifida Ventriculoilial Ventriculosternal 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad W. Kassem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joshua Chern
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marios Loukas
    • 2
  • R. Shane Tubbs
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Seattle Science FoundationSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomical SciencesSt. George’s UniversityTrue BlueGrenada
  3. 3.Pediatric Neurosurgery AssociatesChildren’s Healthcare of AtlantaAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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