Last Updated: December 2, 2019
The peritoneum is the preferred and most common location for placement of the distal terminus of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt. However, there are instances in which the peritoneum is not a suitable place for the shunt, such as in the case of a congenital abnormality, infection, or extensive adhesions, which may prevent absorption of CSF. In such cases, other anatomic locations are considered, including the right cardiac atrium and pleural cavity.
In some patients, all of the routine distal sites are unsuitable. These patients often have complex problems and have experienced multiple shunt failures or infections. Examples include prematurely born infants with necrotizing enterocolitis and patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, spina bifida, or history of shunt i...