What are the symptoms of a shunt malfunction?
Shunt Malfunction Signs
- Lethargy (sleepiness)
- Swelling or redness along the shunt tract.
- Decreased school performance.
- Periods of confusion.
How do you test for shunt malfunction?
In many cases, diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or X-rays, is performed to rule in or rule out shunt dysfunction. These imaging tests expose patients to radiation, and many times these tests indicate that the shunt is in fact working properly.
Why do shunts fail?
Shunt malfunction is most commonly due to a blockage or some obstruction within the shunt system. If the blockage is not corrected, symptoms of hydrocephalus will return. In some cases, shunt blockage may require surgery to replace the affected component or components.
What happens if a shunt stops working?
A shunt blockage can be very serious as it can lead to an build-up of excess fluid in the brain, which can cause brain damage. This will cause the symptoms of hydrocephalus. Emergency surgery will be needed to replace the malfunctioning shunt.
What happens if a shunt fails?
Symptoms of a shunt malfunction or shunt failure considerably from person to person, but recurring failures tend to have similar symptoms for a particular person. When an abrupt malfunction occurs, symptoms can develop very rapidly potentially leading to coma and possibly death.
What are the warning signs of a shunt malfunction?
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center provides the following warning signs of shunt malfunction: Headaches Vomiting Lethargy (sleepiness) Irritability Swelling or redness along the shunt tract Decreased school performance Periods of confusion Seizures
The signs and symptoms of shunt malfunction are the same as for hydrocephalus itself: headaches, nausea, vomiting, irritability, change in behaviour or intellectual performance, etc.
What are the problems with a shunt?
Shunt infection is a common problem and can occur in up to 27% of patients with a shunt. Infection can lead to long term cognitive defects, neurological problems, and in some cases death. Common microbial agents for shunt infection include Staphylococcus epidermidis , Staphylococcus aureus , and Candida albicans .
What is shunt failure?
Shunt dysfunction or failure was defined as shunt revision, subsequent endoscopic third ventriculostomy , or shunt infection 2). Mechanical shunt obstruction is the most common reason for failure, and in proximal catheter failure, this typically means obstruction by the choroid plexus 3).