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Complications with Shunt for Hydrocephalus

5 year old daughter - born with congential hydrocephalus - aqueductal stenosis, agenesis of the corpus callosum.  A programable shunt placed when she was 2 days old.  Revised at 3 months old due to a shift in the fluid to the subdural space caused by cyst.  CT scan shows severe midline shift.  Despite this, she is age approprite in most areas with some delays in small and gross motor skills.

June 23, she developed shunt infection so the shunt externalized for 2 weeks.  They had a difficult time controllng her ICP.  Vvery sensitive to small changes (best level for drain was at -3).  Symptoms were sleepieness, vomiting, drops in heart rate, and seizure.  New shunt was placed, home in 3 days, four days later, back in the hospital with vomiting, sleepieness.  CT scans her normal, shunt tap ok.  After a few days of more vomiting, sleepieness, drops in heart rate, and a couple more seizures, an external drain was put in to measure her ICP, showed spikes, especially while sleeping.  3 shunt revisions, one found a kink in catheter near neck, second showed proteinaceous debris in shunt resivoir, catheter in the head.  Third showed more debris so a non-programmable, low pressure VA shunt was placed.  Still in the hospital.  Partly because she has lost so much weight.  Things with shunt are better however, still having headache and vomiting.   Some days are fine and some days are not.  Now pumping shunt 30 times every three hours.  Also discovered via MRI a chiari malformation.   Doctor said not putting additional pressure on her brain.

1.  Why same type of shunt she had for 5 years now not work?
2.  Why can she go for 36 hours without vomitting and then wake up vomiting every 1/2 hour?
3.  If pumping helps, is this something that can resolve itself?
4.  Doc says next step is craniotomy which he is trying to avoid.  It is hard for me to travel with my daughter somewhere to get a second opinion.  Can doctor's give advice based on history, CT scans, and MRIs?

1 Responses
796253 tn?1344991332
Hi.  I think you should post your question in the neurosurgery expert forum (it is with the international forums).  I hope you get answers for you and your daughter.  
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