A novel technique for distal shunt revision: Retrospective analysis of guidewire-assisted distal catheter replacement

Eric A. Sribnick, Frederick H. Sklar, David M. Wrubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt revision is a common procedure. Disconnection and fracture of the distal catheter remain a common cause of ventriculoperitoneal shunt malfunction. OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel procedure for peritoneal replacement of the distal catheter by using a guidewire and a modified Seldinger technique (guidewire-assisted distal catheter replacement) and retrospectively evaluate the results of the surgical procedure. METHODS: Between September 2005 and December 2013, 68 patients were treated by a single surgeon (DMW) with distal catheter replacement using our technique. In brief, the previously placed distal catheter was exposed at its entry site into the abdomen. A soft guidewire with hydrophilic coating was inserted down the distal catheter into the peritoneum. The distal catheter was then removed over the guidewire, leaving the guidewire in place. A peel-away sheath and dilator were then inserted over the guidewire, and the dilator and guidewire were removed. The new distal catheter was then passed from the valve to the abdomen and was then fed through the peel-away sheath into the peritoneum. Charts were retrospectively reviewed for preoperative presentation, operative technique, and postoperative outcome. Records were specifically examined for any early or late complications. RESULTS: The mean patient age at surgery was 13 years. No immediate acute complications were noted. Of the 68 total patients, 45 patients had more than 6 months of follow-up. Of the 68 patients, 7 patients required another distal revision after guidewireassisted distal catheter replacement. CONCLUSION: Distal shunt malfunction due to a mechanical failure is a common reason for shunt revision. We describe a technique for guidewire-assisted distal catheter replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-370
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Guidewire
  • Modified Seldinger technique
  • Shunt revision
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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