Complications of ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion as seen at Kenyatta National Hospital: a prospective study September 2001-February 2002
A prospective study of 76 patients operated on for non-tumour hydrocephalus by Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt insertion was carried out at the Kenyatta National Hospital between 1st September 2001 and 28th February 2002. The commonest cause of the hydrocephalus in this study was congenital (72.4%). The ages of the patients ranged from one month to 54 years and there were more males than females at a ratio of 1.5:1. Twenty-three patients developed shunt complication, giving a complication rate of 30.30/0. Shunt infection accounted for 65.2% of the complications and shunt malfunction blockage for 30.5%. The commonest clinical features associated with shunt infection in this study were fever and irritability. Vomiting and a bulging tense anterior fontanelle were the commonest clinical features seen in shunt blockage. The average time interval between diagnosis of hydrocephalus and first V-P shunt insertion was 4 months in about fifty percent of the patients. Of the different variables studied, (age of patient, interval between onset of hydrocephalus and shunt insertion, length of surgery, seniority of the surgeon and use of prophylactic antibiotics) none had any correlation to the presence of shunt infection (p>0.05). However, type of shunt used was associated with the development of shunt complication (p<0.05).