Safety of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in patients with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt

Scott M. Graham, John L. Flowers, Thomas R. Scott, Frank Lin, Daniele Rigamonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


THE PLACEMENT OF percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes in patients with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt implicitly raises concerns about the potential for infection, shunt malfunction, and neurological decompensation. As there is no detailed information on this subject, the safety of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was prospectively studied in 15 consecutive patients who had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Ten shunts entered the right upper abdomen, and five were on the left. A percutaneous gastrostomy tube was placed in the left upper abdomen for a minimum of 1 week (mean, 2.2 weeks) after shunt insertion. In the immediate postoperative period, no wound or intra-abdominal complications occurred. One patient developed acute neurological decompensation because of proximal shunt malfunction, and one patient died from cardiopulmonary complications unrelated to the placement of shunts or gastrostomy tubes. Among the 14 survivors, there have been no shunt malfunctions or septic complications during a mean follow-up period of 8.6 months. It would appear that percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes can be placed in patients with a ventriculoperitoneal shunt without undue concern for short- or long-term infectious or neurological sequelae. In addition, the presence of a shunt on the left side does not necessarily interfere with the safe placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-934
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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