Year : 2008 | Volume
: 3 | Issue : 2 | Page : 166--168
Transoral migration of peritoneal end of ventriculoperitoneal shunt: A case report of a rare complication and review of literature
R Murali1, V Ravikumar2,
1 Department of Neurosurgery, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, Tamilnadu, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, GKNM Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
6, Chaturvedi Nagar, Sanganoor Road, Ganapathy, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu-641 006
A rare complication of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is presented. A 6-year-old boy presented with a tube coming out of the mouth. He had a VP shunt done earlier. Clinical features and imaging studies showed that the peritoneal end had perforated the stomach and then migrated to and excited from the mouth. The shunt was removed and he made an uneventful recovery. Though migration of the peritoneal end of the shunt tube into various organs is known, only five cases have been reported in the English literature of a shunt tube coming out of the mouth and this is the sixth. The management of this very rare problem is discussed and the literature reviewed.
|How to cite this article:|
Murali R, Ravikumar V. Transoral migration of peritoneal end of ventriculoperitoneal shunt: A case report of a rare complication and review of literature.J Pediatr Neurosci 2008;3:166-168
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Murali R, Ravikumar V. Transoral migration of peritoneal end of ventriculoperitoneal shunt: A case report of a rare complication and review of literature. J Pediatr Neurosci [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Aug 19 ];3:166-168
Available from: https://www.pediatricneurosciences.com/text.asp?2008/3/2/166/43651
Ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) is one of the most common neurosurgical procedures done. Unfortunately, it also has a high-complication rate which varies widely. Out of this, abdominal complications account for about 25%. Perforation of the bowel occurs not infrequently followed by distal migration of the catheter. However, we report here a very rare case of proximal migration of the peritoneal catheter, after perforating the stomach, and coming out of the mouth. To our knowledge, only five such cases have been reported in the English literature and this is the sixth. Management also differs here from other cases. Relevant literature is reviewed.
A 6-year-old boy had VP shunt done for congenital hydrocephalus 5½ years before. He presented with history of a tube coming out his mouth a few hours prior to admission. He felt a nauseous sensation and then a tube came out of the mouth. There was no headache, vomiting, fever, or loose motion. On examination, he was a moderately nourished boy who was afebrile. He was not anemic or jaundiced. Abdomen was soft with a midline epigastric scar. There was no tenderness and bowel sounds were heard. The peritoneal end of the tube was found to be coming out of his mouth and it was still attached to the main tube [Figure 1] . On compressing the reservoir, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drained, indicating that the shunt was still functioning. There was no evidence of meningitis or peritonitis.
Computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain showed the ventricular end in position and normally draining ventricles [Figure 2].
X-rays of the skull, chest, and abdomen were taken which showed that the tube was a single entity and in continuity. The tube was seen to be coming out of the skull and reaching the peritoneum subcutaneously in a normal manner. However, it then entered the stomach and looped into the oesophagus and was seen coming out of the mouth [Figure 3] and [Figure 4].
X-ray of the abdomen did not show any air under the diaphragm.
CSF studies did not reveal any infection.
Course in hospital
The patient was taken up for surgery under general anesthesia (GA) and an incision was made in the chest wall just above the shunt tube and it was isolated and was cut, and two parts were created (ventricular and peritoneal). The peritoneal end was removed by gently pulling on the tube coming out of the mouth and it came out in one piece. The ventricular end was connected to a closed system of drainage in an aseptic manner. He was kept nil orally for 48 hours and since the abdomen was soft, he was started on oral feeds. An attempt was made to see whether he was shunt dependent by closing the tube. He remained asymptomatic for 4 days and so was taken up for shunt removal. Under GA, the scalp flap was opened and the ventricular end was gently tugged upon. It would not budge and rather than risk a ventricular bleed it was decided to leave it in situ . The tube was cut at the level of the mastoid and anchored to the periosteum and the distal end was removed. He made an uneventful recovery and was able to take normal food. He remained asymptomatic at the time of discharge 1 week later and till date (2 years later).
A VP shunt is the commonest pediatric neurosurgical procedure done. Complications are common and migration of the peritoneal end into virtually every abdominal organ has been reported. There are reports of migration of the peritoneal catheter of VP  and lumbar shunts.  with intestinal perforation. , Vaginal, uterine,  urinary bladder  and gallbladder perforation  have been reported. Pneumothorax,  intestinal obstruction, or volvulus  is also seen. Extrusion through the anus,  umbilicus,  abdominal incision  and into the scrotum, chest, heart, and pulmonary artery have been reported. Upward migration of VP shunts  has also been reported. Very few cases have been reported in the literature about this very rare complication. ,, Ventriculitis  and peritonitis  complicating migration of the tube have been well recognized.
Normally, peristalsis would have pushed the shunt tube distally and out of the anus. Here, the tube has passed the gastro-oesophageal junction proximally and up the oesophagus to emerge out of the mouth. Surprisingly, the shunt still worked and there was no infection - peritonitis or meningitis. This absence of infection was also seen in the case of Park et al , while the case of Kothari et al,  had infection with Escherichia coli . Probably, the tube coming out of the mouth was so dramatic that immediate medical attention was sought. Institution of antibiotics and early removal of the shunt precluded the setting in of infection. Park et al , did laparoscopic exploration for the tube removal while no such procedure was necessary in our case. Kothari et al ,  pulled out the shunt by an incision behind the ear. This would entail pulling the extruded shunt tube through the peritoneal cavity again entailing possibility of infection. It is better to cut the tube and pull out the tube through the mouth as in our case.
Removal of the shunt presented no problem and early feeding can be instituted if there is no clinical evidence of peritonitis.
An extremely rare complication of VP shunt is presented, viz . transoral migration of the peritoneal end of VP shunt. The shunt tube was removed uneventfully and without any abdominal intervention.
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