A rare case of ventriculoperitoneal shunt knot causing intestinal obstruction in an adult

Mayank Bhasin, Karamjot Singh Bedi, Tarun Chaudhary, Gurvansh S. Sachdeva, Shantanu Kumar Sahu


Despite high incidence of complications, Ventriculoperitoneal shunting for hydrocephalus is the cornerstone and the most common neurosurgical procedure. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt knot causing intestinal obstruction is an extremely rare complication needing surgical intervention. A 19 years old male with history of VP shunting in infancy for hydrocephalus with no history of any revision surgery presented in emergency with pain abdomen and multiple episodes of vomiting for 2 days. X ray showed dilated bowel loops with a coiled up VP shunt in the abdomen. Exploratory laparotomy showed multiple dilated bowel loops with a loop of VP shunt around ileal segment with dense fibrotic adhesions causing obstruction. Extensive adhesiolysis was done. Procedure underwent uneventful. Patient recovered swiftly in postoperative period and is currently asymptomatic after 6 months of surgery. Improved surgery skills and shunt design have prevented much of the morbidity of VP shunting. Most of the cases reported earlier were paediatric patients with history of repetitive handling of catheter. We believe this to be the first case of intestinal obstruction by a VPS knot in an adult with no history of manipulation after primary surgery. Due to low incidence it is difficult to clinically suspect such an extremely rare complication. Therefore, an awareness of VP shunt related complications in adult is essential.


Adult, Intestinal obstruction, VP shunt, VPS knot

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