Shunt infections: a review and analysis of a personal series

  • Santosh Mohan Rao Kanangi
  • Chidambaram Balasubramaniam
Special Annual Issue


Introduction and purpose

CSF diversion shunts are notoriously prone to complications. The most difficult to manage among them is shunt infection, which warrants a prolonged hospital stay. The aim of this paper is to review the pattern of infections, the pathology, and management of shunt infections with special reference to a tertiary pediatric center in a developing country.

Materials and methods

This is a review of shunt infections in general and a retrospective study of all cases operated in the hospital from 2000 to 2015.


The authors analyze the data and try to discern patterns, which may enable newer interventions to treat as well as decrease the burden of shunt infections in the future.


It is difficult to determine the true incidence of shunt infections as there is no definition of what constitutes a shunt infection. There are no standardized international guidelines as to how to deal with an infected shunt. Though the ability to treat shunt infection has improved and the incidence of shunt infection has decreased over time, there is still no consensus on the best way to manage it. The prevention is predominantly based on common sense and has helped but a more scientific algorithm is the need of the hour.


Shunt infection Hydrocephalus Cerebrospinal fluid CNS infections CSF infections Antibiotic therapy Ventriculoperitoneal shunt 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no disclosures to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santosh Mohan Rao Kanangi
    • 1
  • Chidambaram Balasubramaniam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgeryKanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust HospitalChennai 34India

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