The authors report the third case of ventriculoperitoneal shunt blockage due to spontaneous knot formation in the peritoneal catheter that had been placed in a 3.5-year-old boy 8 months earlier. On surgical exploration a double knot was found 10 cm from the distal end of the peritoneal catheter. Although the underlying mechanism remains unknown, the authors used the analogy of related physical studies and true knot formation in the umbilical cord and determined the possible causes as related to the catheter, volume and configuration of the abdomen, and kinetics of the catheter movements. If further study should reveal a significantly higher incidence of this complication, the authors suggest further in vitro studies, designed to investigate the optimal characteristics and safe range of length of peritoneal catheters in different situations.
- pediatric neurosurgery
- shunt blockage
- ventriculoperitoneal catheter