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Improving the detection of ventricular shunt disruption using volume-rendered three-dimensional head computed tomography


Hydrocephalus is the most common neurosurgical disorder in children, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion with shunt placement is the most commonly performed pediatric neurosurgical procedure. CT is frequently used to evaluate children with suspected CSF shunt malfunction to assess change in ventricular size. Moreover, careful review of the CT images is important to confirm the integrity of the imaged portions of the shunt system. Subtle shunt disruptions can be missed on multiplanar two-dimensional (2-D) CT images, especially when the disruption lies in the plane of imaging. The use of volume-rendered CT images enables radiologists to view the extracranial shunt tubing within the field of view as a three-dimensional (3-D) object. This allows for a rapid and intuitive method of assessing the integrity of the extracranial shunt tubing. The purpose of this pictorial essay is to discuss how volume-rendered CT images can be generated to evaluate CSF shunts in the pediatric population and to provide several examples of their utility in diagnosing shunt disruption. We also address the potential pitfalls of this technique and ways to avoid them.

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Correspondence to Grace S. Phillips.

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Oztek, M.A., Parisi, M.T., Perez, F.A. et al. Improving the detection of ventricular shunt disruption using volume-rendered three-dimensional head computed tomography. Pediatr Radiol (2021).

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  • Children
  • Computed tomography
  • Head
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Post-processing
  • Ventricular shunt
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Volume rendering