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Ventriculoatrial shunt as a feasible regimen for certain patients of hydrocephalus: clinical features and surgical management

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Ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt is one of the most commonly used solutions for hydrocephalus. In recent years, the number of VA shunt has decreased worldwide, given the perceived technical challenges and the potentially serious complications associated with VA shunt. However, VA shunt remains as a viable treatment option for hydrocephalus in selected patients. Novel placement strategies and monitoring methods have been developed to reduce complications following VA shunt. In this article, we reported that seven consecutive cases who received a VA shunt. VA shunts were applied in seven hydrocephalic patients who experienced previous ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt failures or had contraindications to abdominal catheter placement. The insertion of VA shunt catheters was guided with the aid of intraoperative electromagnetic neuronavigation and electrocardiographic technique. There were three female and four male patients with a mean age of 46 years (range 22–68 years) received VA shunts under the guidance of electromagnetic neuronavigation and electrocardiographic method intraoperatively. In all cases, postoperative cranial CT scans and chest radiography demonstrated appropriate positioning of the catheter tips. And no postoperative complications occurred during the follow-up period of 3–26 months. VA shunts are potential favorable alternatives for patients who cannot tolerate VP shunts. It is noteworthy that VA is not free of complications. Intraoperative application of electromagnetic neuronavigation and electrocardiographic technique contributes to safe and optimal catheter placement of VA shunts.

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This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81701214), Zhejiang Provincial Health General Project (No. 201466094), and Zhejiang Provincial Medical Science and Technology Planning Project (No. 2018270408).

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Correspondence to Yirong Wang.

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This study and technique were approved by Medical Ethics Committee of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital.

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Niu, H., Wu, H., Luo, W. et al. Ventriculoatrial shunt as a feasible regimen for certain patients of hydrocephalus: clinical features and surgical management. Acta Neurol Belg 121, 403–408 (2021).

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