Late presentation of massive pleural effusion from intrathoracic migration of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt catheter: case report and review of the literature.
ABSTRACT We report an unusual case of ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt intrathoracic migration, associated with massive symptomatic hydrothorax. The VP shunt was inserted 10 years before presentation, after hemorrhagic hydrocephalus caused by prenatal intraventricular hemorrhage. The pleural fluid was drained via tube thoracostomy and the shunt was externalized, with full resolution of symptoms and signs. The patient was subsequently managed with shunt revision with drainage into the abdominal cavity. We review the 10 pediatric cases of cerebrospinal fluid hydrothorax reported in the literature and discuss the mechanism of shunt tip migration. Pleural effusion secondary to VP shunt insertion is a rare and potentially life-threatening occurrence, and it should be suspected in any patient with a VP shunt and respiratory distress.