Last reviewed 04/2022

A shunt is a device used to reduce intracranial pressure by draining off CSF from a dilated ventricular system.

Shunt components:

  • ventricular catheter - inserted into the lateral ventricle through the occipital horn so as the tip lies at the level of the foramen of Munro
  • subcutaneous reservoir and one-way valve - to permit aspiration of CSF for analysis and CSF outflow
  • distal catheter - inserted through the internal jugular vein into the right atrium - ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt; into the peritoneal cavity - ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt
  • alternatively, lumboperitoneal shunt - catheter origin inserted into the lumbar theca; distal site in the peritoneal cavity.

Aqueduct stenosis may be treated by a shunt from the lateral ventricle into the cisterna magna - Torkildsen's procedure.