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Childs Nerv Syst. 2007 Jan;23(1):85-90. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

An alternative approach for management of abdominal cerebrospinal fluid pseudocysts in children.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Campus Universitário, São Paulo, 14049-900, Brazil.



Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abdominal pseudocyst is an uncommon but important complication of ventriculoperitoneal shunts. From the collected series, several features about the etiology and management become apparent. Retrospective data were obtained from 12 children treated with cerebrospinal fluid abdominal pseudocyst defined an alternative approach for management of these patients.


There were eight girls and four boys who ranged in age from 12 days to 18 years old (mean 7.7 months). The most frequent etiology of the hydrocephalus was Chiari type II malformation in six cases. Initial presentation with shunt malfunction was detected in nine cases. Abdominal distention and/or pain were the most frequent finding in our series (10/12). In only one case, infection was detected for all cerebrospinal fluid abdominal pseudocysts (8.3%). Ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) externalization, antibiotics, and cyst aspiration was performed in 8/12 cases as initial management of abdominal pseudocyst. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt reinsertion in abdominal cavity and/or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) was performed as final management in 9/12. Ventriculoatrial shunt was used only in three cases. Recurrence of the abdominal cyst was observed in two cases.


Based on the success rate (75%) in our series submitted to this management, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt can be safely reinserted in the majority of the patients. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy could be performed in selected cases as an alternative approach. Although infection has been reported as responsible for pseudocyst formation, it was only exceptionally found in our series.

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