Lumboperitoneal shunts: are the complications acceptable?
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Background. Lumboperitoneal shunts have long been used in the treatment of benign intracranial hypertension, postoperative pseudomeningocele, CSF leak and communicating hydrocephalus. Although they can provide a rapid and effective resolution of the symptoms there are major disadvantages associated with their use.
Method. We retrospectively analyzed the records of 21 patients who underwent LP shunt insertion in our institution during the study period.
Findings. Eighteen patients (85.7%) underwent at least one shunt revision with a total of 63 revisions. Shunt related infections were observed in 7 cases and 7 patients developed Chiari malformation, 2 (9%) of these requiring further treatment.
Conclusions. Despite the symptomatic control achieved with lumboperitoneal shunts we find the complication and revision rates unacceptably high. The technique should be re-evaluated and other treatment strategies considered.
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