Left Lower Lobe Bronchiectasis After Rare Abnormal Migration of Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt in a Hydrocephalic Child
A 2-year-old girl with congenital hydrocephalus had a VP shunt that had been inserted from 1 year. The patient presented with recurrent chest infection and productive cough for 10 months. Also, she suffered from intermittent attacks of vomiting and diarrhea over 2 months duration. On evaluation, the patient was expectorating a clear watery sputum. A chest x-ray revealed radio-opaque catheter emerging from the abdomen into the left lower hemithorax. Chest computed tomography revealed abnormal migration of the VP shunt in the left lower lobe of lung and piercing left copula of diaphragm, with bronchiectatic changes and pneumonic consolidation of left lower lung lobe.
A catheter extraction or repositioning and left lower lobectomy was planned, so the patient was placed in the right lateral decubitus position and a left lateral limited thoracotomy with a 4 cm incision was performed. After opening the chest, the left lower lobe of the lung was atelectatic and destroyed, with adhesions to the chest wall and a piece of omentum was herniating and adherent to its under surface.
The left lower lobe of the lung was dissected from the diaphragm, which revealed the site of penetration of the VP shunt; the shunt was associated with a herniated piece of omentum. Removal of shunt from lower lobe was done first, and then the authors proceeded to a left lower lobectomy. The herniated piece of omentum was excised with repair of the diaphragm with two layers of interrupted mattress silk 2/0 sutures. A left chest drain was placed, and the thoracotomy was closed in layers in a standard fashion.
The patient then arrived from the operating room and went uneventfully. She was able to be discharged after 5 days of hospitalization.
VP shunt migration to the thorax is reported in the literature and mostly due to inflammatory changes causing diaphragmatic erosion . Here, the authors report a very rare case of distal migration of a VP shunt catheter into the left lower lobe of the lung, causing bronchiectatic changes and pneumonic consolidation. Shunt migrations have a various mechanisms. The negative intrathoracic pressure make the shunt adherent to diaphragm slowly draw back into the thorax, also the inflammatory process and fibrosis cause a diaphragmatic erosion and perforation due to continuous pressure to the shunt adhered to the diaphragm . Various respiratory complications may occur from abnormal migration of a VP shunt into the thorax, such as pleural effusion, pneumothorax, bronchial fistula, bronchiectasis, hydrothorax, empyema, and pneumonia . To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this case is the first case in the literature that shows bronchiectasis changes in the lung.
Recurrent chest infection with clear watery sputum in a child with a VP shunt should elicit suspicion of a catheter migration until proven otherwise.
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