Distal ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure caused by silicone allergy

Namath S. Hussain, Paul P. Wang, Carol James, Benjamin S. Carson, Anthony M. Avellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The placement of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is the most common form of treatment for hydrocephalus. Although allergic reactions to the silicone in shunt hardware are very rare, the authors describe a case of silicone allergy causing multiple ventricular shunt revisions. A 24-year-old man, who had undergone multiple VP shunt revisions, presented with shunt malfunction caused by allergic reaction of the tissues surrounding the shunt tubing. The patient's existing silicone-based shunt was replaced with a new polyurethane system, including the proximal and distal catheters as well as the valve mechanism. Contrary to recommendations in previous studies of silicone shunt allergies, long-term immunosuppression was not initiated. The patient was followed up for more than 8 years without recurrence of an allergic reaction to the shunt. This outcome indicates that replacing the original silicone-based shunt system with a polyurethane-based system alone is sufficient in the treatment of a silicone shunt allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-539
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bowel perforation
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Shunt malfunction
  • Shunt obstruction
  • Silicone allergy
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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