Send to

Choose Destination
World Neurosurg. 2013 Jul-Aug;80(1-2):222.e5-13. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.12.016. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Fungal infection of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt: histoplasmosis diagnosis and treatment.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.



Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, commonly found in the Americas, and Histoplasma duboisii, located in Africa. In the United States, H. capsulatum is prevalent in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. In rare circumstances, central nervous system (CNS) histoplasmosis infection can be caused by shunt placement. We present a case report of a 45-year-old woman in whom CNS histoplasmosis developed after having a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placed for communicating hydrocephalus. A review of the literature on fungal infections after CNS shunt placement as well as treatment options for this subset of patients was undertaken.


The PubMed database current to 1958 was filtered and limited to English-language articles. Fifty-eight articles were selected for review based on evidence of information regarding the fungal organism responsible for shunt infection, symptoms, treatment, and/or outcomes. Also included in this review is our case study.


A thorough analysis of the PubMed database revealed 58 reported cases of CNS shunt-related fungal infections in the English-language medical literature as well as 7 therapeutic agents used to treat patients in whom postshunt fungal infections developed.


We describe the steps in diagnosis of histoplasmosis after shunt placement, provide an effective therapeutic regimen, and review the present understanding of CNS fungal infections. The medical literature was surveyed to compare and analyze various CNS fungal infections that can arise from shunt placement as well as treatments rendered.


5-FC; Amphotericin B; CNS; CSF; Central nervous system; Cerebrospinal fluid; Flucytosine; Histoplasmosis; MRI; Magnetic resonance image; VP; Ventriculoperitoneal; Ventriculoperitoneal shunt; WBC; White blood cell

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center