Glossary Entry: Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt


Definition: A cerebrospinal fluid shunt is a medical device used to treat hydrocephalus by diverting excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: There are different types of cerebrospinal fluid shunts, including ventriculoperitoneal shunts, ventriculoatrial shunts, and ventriculopleural shunts, each with specific applications depending on the patient’s condition and needs.


Common Uses: Cerebrospinal fluid shunts are commonly used to treat hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, leading to increased pressure and potential brain damage.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion and placement of a cerebrospinal fluid shunt require surgical intervention. The surgeon must carefully insert the shunt into the appropriate location, following specific techniques like the Seldinger technique for accurate placement.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with cerebrospinal fluid shunts include infection, obstruction, over-drainage, under-drainage, and shunt malfunction.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the cerebrospinal fluid shunt are essential to prevent complications. Regular check-ups and monitoring are necessary to ensure the device’s optimal performance and the patient’s safety.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Other related devices or accessories that are often used in conjunction with cerebrospinal fluid shunts include programmable shunt valves and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible shunts.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in cerebrospinal fluid shunt technology include the development of programmable shunt valves that allow for the adjustment of cerebrospinal fluid drainage according to the patient’s needs.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Regulatory considerations for cerebrospinal fluid shunts involve adherence to strict standards and guidelines to ensure patient safety and device effectiveness.